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    • Join Date: Oct 2009
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    #1

    quick question

    i was writing a profile about myself when i suddenly wrote the sentence "i like to read a book"

    my question is : is the proper English (does anyone use this?), if not what could i write to improve it


    • Join Date: Oct 2009
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    #2

    Re: quick question

    I think you could write something like "I like reading", instead, because it refers to something more general (in your case, reading as a hobby).


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    #3

    Re: quick question

    the problems i that is thought that you could say "i like reading" when you are doing it and "i like to read" when you aren't doing it.
    For some verbs, like 'like', we can use an infinitive or an 'ing' form with no real change in meaning.

    Others, like 'enjoy' steadfastly resist one form or the other.

    * He enjoys to ski. * [asterisk marks a construction as ungrammatical]

    He enjoys skiing.

    The linguist, Dwight Bollinger postulated that the 'to' form is more distant, something we tend more to discuss when we're not actually involved in the action while the 'ing' form tends to be used more when we're actually doing the action.

    [while camping] You know, I really like camping.

    [just discussing it, not actually doing it at the moment] He really likes to ski.

    I don't know of any studies that have tested this hypothesis.

    can a teacher please confirm or tell if it's wrong?
    Last edited by meee; 18-Oct-2009 at 11:35.

  1. Huda-M's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: quick question

    You could write: I like/love reading books.

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    #5

    Re: quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by meee View Post
    The linguist, Dwight Bollinger postulated that the 'to' form is more distant, something we tend more to discuss when we're not actually involved in the action while the 'ing' form tends to be used more when we're actually doing the action.
    That's the gist of it, yes. The infinitive is used for factual information; e.g., I like to read (it's a fact), but there is more to the semantics of the gerund than a present progressive meaning. For example,

    • I like reading. <in general>
    The practice of reading doesn't necessarily have to be taking place at the time of the utterance.


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    #6

    Re: quick question

    but the question still remains, can i use it (is it entirely wrong, or not used often but still correct)?

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    #7

    Re: quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by meee View Post
    but the question still remains, can i use it (is it entirely wrong, or not used often but still correct)?
    Yes, and no. It depends on the context, on the meaning of the sentence you want to express. From English Grammar and Writing : English language courses, English Grammar Online


    The verbs hate, love, like, prefer are usually followed by a gerund when the meaning is general, and by a to-infinitive when they refer to a particular time or situation.


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    #8

    Re: quick question

    so if i add "in my spare time" it will be correct?

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    #9

    Re: quick question

    Quote Originally Posted by meee View Post
    so if i add "in my spare time" it will be correct?
    Yes. I like to read in my spare time.


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    #10

    Re: quick question

    but can i use " to like + inf" in "i like to travel."
    or is that (also) completely wrong.

    would you count it as a mistake, if so to what should i change it. (just add a time, or change it in to a gerund)

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