Aimer is one of those confusing verbs that changes meaning depending on context. When aimer is refers to a person or a pet it means “to love”:

J’aime mon chien – I love my dog

Il aime Jane – He loves Jane

Je t’aime – I love you

But when aimer refers to a thing it means like:

J’aime le chocolat – I like chocolate.

On a aimé le film – We liked the film

If you want to say that you love something other than a person or pet then the correct verb is adorer:

J’adore le chocolat – I love chocolate

On a adoré le film – We loved the film

And if you want to say that you like a person or pet then you need to qualify aimer with an adverb:

J’aime bien Jane – I like Jane.

J’aime assez Jane – I quite like Jane.

Je t’aime beaucoup – I like you a lot.

Interestingly, if you use the adverb bien when you are talking about a thing, it does not intensify the meaning of like:

J’aime le chocolat / J’aime bien le chocolat – I like chocolate

So, both “J’aime le chocolat” and “J’aime bien le chocolat” mean exactly the same thing!

Next:

Learn more about aimer in the passé composé and Imperfait

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