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  1. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
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    #1

    like + infinitive / gerund

    My parents also like to go to the cinema.
    He likes to play tennis.
    ...

    I would like to know what the difference between using an infinitive and a gerund (in the case with "like") is. I hear that if you are talking about a habit, you should use the infinitive - is that the truth?

    Would the sentences mean the same if I wrote the ones below?
    My parents also like going to the cinema.
    He likes playing tennis.


    Correct my English, please...

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: like + infinitive / gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    My parents also like to go to the cinema.
    He likes to play tennis.
    ...
    I would like to know what the difference between using an infinitive and a gerund (in the case with "like") is. I hear that if you are talking about a habit, you should use the infinitive - is that the truth?
    Would the sentences mean the same if I wrote the ones below?
    My parents also like going to the cinema.
    He likes playing tennis.
    Correct my English, please...
    Hmm. Good question. I've never had a student ask me that, and I don't have the answer off the top of my head (another body-part idiom). There is a difference, I think.

    While I reflect on this, I'll throw in another example:
    He likes playing tennis.
    but
    He likes to leave things to the last minute.

    b


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #3

    Re: like + infinitive / gerund

    Hi Lenka,
    This question could be placed among FAQ. What I know from grammar books is:
    The gerund is used in short phrases, that is, without details; the infinitive goes when you give some additional info:
    She likes listening to music.
    She likes to listen to E. Fitzgerald while sipping Guinness.
    I hope native speakers tell us whether it's true.
    Rgs


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #4

    Re: like + infinitive / gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    My parents also like to go to the cinema.
    He likes to play tennis.
    ...
    I would like to know what the difference between using an infinitive and a gerund (in the case with "like") is. I hear that if you are talking about a habit, you should use the infinitive - is that the truth?
    Would the sentences mean the same if I wrote the ones below?
    My parents also like going to the cinema.
    He likes playing tennis.
    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.

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    #5

    Re: like + infinitive / gerund

    It sometimes seems to me that the gerund puts us inside the action, while the infinitive puts us outside. Thus the former seems more vivid and "in progress".

    But that may not be a widespread feeling.

    MrP


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    #6

    Re: like + infinitive / gerund

    "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. You must always use the to-infinitive with the expressions 'would love to', 'would hate to', etc."
    Source: www.edufind.com

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    #7

    Re: like + infinitive / gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    "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. You must always use the to-infinitive with the expressions 'would love to', 'would hate to', etc."
    Source: www.edufind.com
    Like+ infinitive that means you want to do something.
    But Like+ gerund means that you enjoy doing it

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: like + infinitive / gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by Nguyen Tuyet View Post
    Like+ infinitive that means you want to do something.
    But Like+ gerund means that you enjoy doing it
    But in the first case, the idea of wanting comes from the modal:
    "I would like to play tennis" or "I'd like to play tennis".

    Because in the second case the /d/ is formed (in that the closure is made between the tongue and the tooth-ridge) but not released until the /l/ starts, it is hard for learners to hear or reproduce: but "I like to play tennis" is usually wrong (always, I think, if you're talking about wanting. (I say 'usually' because "On Saturdays, I like to play tennis" is OK - but that's not about wanting.)

    b

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