like + gerund
EX: I like swimming. (expressing a generality)
like + to-infinitive
EX: I like to swim after work. (expressing a particular time or situation)
Read more here: http://www.edufind.com/english/grammar/ING5.cfm
What is the difference between the two? Or is there any difference? How do you explain it to students?
when you say ( i like going out with my friends ) that means that " going out with your friends" is a hobby for you, and you enjoy it, and it is like a rutine in your life.
but if you say ( i like to go aut with my friends) that means that NOW, you have at least 2 choices, and you prefer going out with your friend rather than" the other choice."
Hope that helps
Matilda, I like your explanation. However, please note, like + to-infinitive doesn't necessarily express "now", and it can also express a routine,
EX: I like to go out with my friends on weekends.
'on weekends' is both a particular time and a give situation.
All the best.