Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2011
    • Posts: 35
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    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?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 28
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    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.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,642
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    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.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 5,412
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    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]."

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Difference between "ing"&"simple present" after "to"
    By Gavin1705 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 22-Jul-2010, 00:51
  2. Will be ed & ing
    By FLU$H in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-Jan-2010, 08:28
  3. remember to & remember + 'ing'
    By bieasy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-Dec-2007, 22:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •