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Thread: like

  1. #11
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    Default Re: like

    "I like to read on the train" could mean the the speaker prefers to read on the train rather than elsewhere, but that would have to be inferred. A literal reading of the sentence would not convey that information. If I say, "I like to read on the train; it helps me pass the time" that doesn't mean I prefer reading on the train to reading other places.

  2. #12
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I agree. Without the context, though, that is the difference I'd see. With the added information, then the implication is lost.

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    Default Re: like

    I've read in several ESL books that the difference between like + ing and like + infinitive is this:
    I like reading = I enjoy it, it's fun.
    I like to read = it is a good thing for me to do, but I don't necessarily enjoy it.
    Another example - I like watching TV (it's a hobby)
    I like to watch the news on TV - even though it is usually depressing, I am informed about what is going on in the world, and that is a good thing.

    I think the original post mentioned 'I'd like to...', which is something very different.

  4. #14
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    We've moved away from the original. quite a long way, actually.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: like

    Quote Originally Posted by Lib
    I've read in several ESL books that the difference between like + ing and like + infinitive is this:
    I like reading = I enjoy it, it's fun.
    I like to read = it is a good thing for me to do, but I don't necessarily enjoy it.
    Another example - I like watching TV (it's a hobby)
    I like to watch the news on TV - even though it is usually depressing, I am informed about what is going on in the world, and that is a good thing.

    I think the original post mentioned 'I'd like to...', which is something very different.
    In my humble opinion, those books are wrong. I wouldn't depend on a formula to tell me what a sentence means anyhow. If I say "I like to read" it means I enjoy reading. According to those ESL books, I am wrong. I don't think I am wrong.

    "I like to smell roses." Does that mean smelling roses is good for me even tho I don't enjoy it? That is not what I would mean by that sentence.

    "I like to eat pizza." Does that mean that I do enjoy eating pizza or that I don't enjoy eating pizza? It is hard for me to see how there could be confusion about that.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: like

    Sorry Ronbee, maybe I should have mentioned that those books also say that 'like + to' is more common in AE.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: like

    Maybe it's an AE/BE thing.

  8. #18
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    I think it must be as the 'like + to' form isn't that common in BE and is generally used to distinguish the pleasure in some way.

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