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    • Join Date: Aug 2003
    • Posts: 70

    Answering in a different tense

    Hi all,

    Wondered if you could sort this one out for me?

    If asked, 'Do you like swimming', the answer should be: 'Yes, I like swimming'.
    Some answer, 'Yes, I like to swim' - of which I use myself, mixing the two and feel relate to an identical meaning. Is it incorrect in text book fashion to change from one to the other as it appears ok to me?

    Just appreciate knowing 100%.

    Last edited by makaveli; 22-Jan-2006 at 06:58.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: Answering in a different tense

    Tense isn't at issue here. The main verb (like) is in the present simple. The issue is the type of nominal that the verb "like" can take. It's one of those verbs that can either take an infinitive (to swim) or a gerund (swimming). The former expresses an idea; i.e., the idea of swimming, whereas the latter expresses the activity of swimming, wherein "like swimming" is synonymous with "enjoy [a hobby;an interest]. In most, if not all modern grammar texts, Units on "Hobbies & Interests" offer both "like" and "enjoy" with a gerund as their verbal object;e.g., I like/enjoy playing the piano. The point being, gerunds, or rather present participles, express an actualized event. It's a hobby or interest that the speaker has attempted, has personal knowledge of. In contrast, the infintive (to swim) expresses an unactualized event, one the speaker has yet to attempt, has yet to know through personal experience. So, if it's a hobby or interest, "like" + a gerund would be your best bet.

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