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  1. #1
    yamamoto is offline Junior Member
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    like to & like --ing

    Hello.

    1) I like to smoke.
    2) I like smoking.

    I understand that the first sentence means "I would like to smoke, or I want to smoke." and the second one " I enjoy smoking."
    Do I understand correctly? Or, are there any differences between the two.
    Would you posssiblely explain it in detail?

  2. #2
    Ilki is offline Banned
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    Re: like to & like --ing

    A good rule of thumb is to say that the infinitive is specific, and that the gerund is general.

    Compare:
    I like to smoke when no one is around.
    I like smoking: it relaxes me.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: like to & like --ing

    Though the general/specific distinction is not made in all variants- I believe there's little or no difference in AmE between the two.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: like to & like --ing

    1) I like to smoke.
    2) I like smoking.




    NOT A TEACHER

    (1) In Mesdames Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman's acclaimed The Grammar Book (1983 edition, page 436), they cite other scholars (Professors Bolinger and So) who feel that there may be a subtle difference.

    (a) Here is an example:

    (i) I like camping in the mountains. (It's so peaceful here.) = more immediate, more vivid.

    (ii) I like to camp in the mountains. ((It's so peaceful there.) = more remote, more objective.

    (2) IF (a big "if"), we can use this idea with your sentences, then maybe (a big "maybe) we can interpret your sentences something like:

    (a) I like smoking after dinner. (It's so relaxing here in the dining room.) Possibly you might say this if you were actually in the dining room this moment and smoking.

    (b) I like to smoke after dinner. (It's so relaxing there in the dining room.) Possibly you might say this if you were still at work and telling a colleague about your feelings regarding smoking.

    (3) The authors of the book admit that

    "Most native speakers do not readily perceive [the subtle difference]."

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