If you want to say that something is your favorite something in German, you take Lieblings- and stick it in front of the noun for whatever you’re talking about.
- Das ist meine Lieblingsbar, und das ist mein Lieblingsbier.
- This is my favorite bar and this is my favorite beer.
So yeah, German uses one of its lego words, while English just puts two nouns behind one another because English doesn’t have compounds.
Except when it does of course. I mean… I don’t know. Football, toothpaste, teaspoon … I am not an expert but these look like compounds to me. And don’t get me started on the hyphens.
But anyway, so to say “My favorite something”, you basically create the word Lieblingssomething. That’s pretty easy, but there is one major hang-up and source of mistakes. And that’s when you just want to say that something is your favorite.
- Dark beer?! That’s my favorite.
In such a context, many learners say
- Das ist mein Lieblings.
And that is wrong because Lieblings doesn’t work like that by itself.
What you actually need to say is:
- Dunkles Bier?! Das ist mein Lieblingsbier.
Yes, you have to say the noun again. And no, there’s not really a way around that.
Well, I guess you could say “Das ist mein Favorit.” but doesn’t sound all too endearing and is overall more idiomatic in the context of competitions. Like, the team that you think is most likely to win the championship is your Favorit, but it might not be your Lieblingsteam.