Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques can usually be classified into spin-echo (SE) and gradient-echo (GRE) pulse sequences. In this presentation, the basic physical principles of GRE imaging, as well as different mechanisms to generate image contrast will be explained. Differences between SE and GRE MRI will be discussed. Additionally, the influence of different pulse sequence parameters (e.g. echo time, repetition time, flip angle; as well as spoiling techniques and preparation pulses) on the image contrast will be covered. Clinical applications of GRE imaging techniques will be shown exemplarily.