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  1. #1
    Masfer Guest

    I like doing / I like to do - Differences

    What is the difference between like doing sth and like to do sth ?
    Could you give an example to make it clearer ?

    Thanks in advance !

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
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    While there isn't necessarily a difference between them, there could be. I like dancing could mean that you get enjoyment out of dancing (doing it) or that you like to watch people dance, while I like to dance only means that you enjoy dancing (doing it). Having said that, in fact, there is hardly ever any difference between the two. After all, I like watching TV and I like to watch TV are the same. I like swimming and I like to swim are also the same.

    :)

  3. #3
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    Re: I like doing / I like to do - Differences

    Quote Originally Posted by Masfer
    What is the difference between like doing sth and like to do sth ?
    Could you give an example to make it clearer ?

    Thanks in advance !
    There are a number of verbs that can take either a gerund (-ing verbal) or an infinitive (to + verb form) as a complement. "Like" is one of those verbs. When a verb can take either complement, the combination with the gerund and the combination with the infinitive can have differing meanings. In some cases, the difference in meaning is subtle; in other cases, it is dramatic.

    As a rule, the gerund form will be more real, more concrete, more based on action. The infinitive form will be more hypothetical, more conceptual, less concrete.

    I like swimming = more focused on the activity of swimming
    I like to swim = more focused on the idea of swimming

    With the verb like, the differences are subtle. One could use either to communicate a like of swimming, but the subtle differences are there.

  4. #4
    Masfer Guest

    re

    Thank you both for your answers.
    It is perfectly clear now 8)
    In school I've always been told:
    You always have to write: like verb+ing.

    Now I know they were cheating me
    ByE!

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    In BE, we tend to use the gerund for a general state of affairs and the infinitive for specific circumstances:

    I like reading. (general state)
    I don't like to read in cars. (specific circumstance- it makes me car sick)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In BE, we tend to use the gerund for a general state of affairs and the infinitive for specific circumstances:

    I like reading. (general state)
    I don't like to read in cars. (specific circumstance- it makes me car sick)
    Hmmm. That almost sounds opposite to AE, except I agree with your examples.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Another area where you lot have got it wrong?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Another area where you lot have got it wrong?

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Another area where you lot have got it wrong?

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