The Difference of Любить and Нравиться

When learning a new language, many people can easily remember the vocabulary associated with feelings, such as love and like. There are two verbs in the Russian language that have a similar meaning concerning these feelings. Those verbs are любить and нравиться. Then, what’s the difference between любить and нравиться? Can these words be used in the same situation or condition? Let’s see the explanation details below.


Любить means love. You can use любить to show feelings to your loved ones, things, or favorite activities. This verb is often used in accusative sentences. If you still do not know the accusative formula, you can visit this page.

Любить is a feeling that is really strong or deep because you often feel it. This verb is used when you already know very well about someone or something. It is not just a momentary feeling. This verb can be used to describe something general.

The Conjugation of Любить

я          люблю

ты        любишь

он/а/о  любит

мы       любим

вы       любите

они      любят


Нравиться means likes. If любить cannot be used for something just for the first time, everyone can use нравиться to describe something that they try or feel just at the moment. We use this verb when we want to talk specifically about something that we really now well.

Different from любить using the accusative case, people that show their feeling use нравиться will be in dative case, and something they like in nominative cases. It shows as if the object makes us like it. In English, this verb is equivalent to ‘to please’.

I like white flowers = The white flowers pleasing me.

The Conjugation of Нравиться

я            нравлюсь

ты         нравишься

он/а/о нравится

мы        нравимся

вы         нравитесь

они       нравятся

To have a better understanding, you can know the difference любить and нравиться by reading the following example:

  • Я люблю цветы, но не нравится этот цветок.
    (Ya lyublyu tsvety, no ne nravitsya etot tsvetok)
    I love flowers, but I do not like this flower.
  • Я люблю романтический фильм, но мне не нравится этот новый фильм.
    (Ya lyublyu romanticheskiy fil’m, no mne ne nravitsya etot novyy fil’m)
    I love a romantic film, but I do not like this new film.
  • Я думаю, ей нравится твоя книга.
    (Ya dumayu, yey nravitsya tvoya kniga)
    I think she likes your book.
  • Она любит слушать музыку и читать книги.
    (Ona lyubit slushat’ muzyku i chitat’ knigi)
    she likes to listen to music and read books.
  • Она никогда ему не нравилась.
    (Ona nikogda yemu ne nravilas’)
    She never liked him.
  • ты любишь танцевать?
    (ty lyubish’ tantsevat’?)
    do you like to dance?
  • Тебе нравятся мои ботинки?
    Tebe nravyatsya moi botinki?
    Do you like my shoes?

Now it’s your turn to practice making sentences using these two verbs. You can also practice by reading Russian articles that topics are about feelings. You can also try to make a negation sentence using любить and нравиться. If you are still confused to use the negation words Hет and Не, you can know the difference between the function and use of these negations by checking here. In addition, you can also increase your knowledge of Russian by knowing the fact and history of this language. Keep practicing.

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