I like doing / I like to do - Differences

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Masfer

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What is the difference between like doing sth and like to do sth ?
Could you give an example to make it clearer ?

Thanks in advance !
 

RonBee

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While there isn't necessarily a difference between them, there could be. I like dancing could mean that you get enjoyment out of dancing (doing it) or that you like to watch people dance, while I like to dance only means that you enjoy dancing (doing it). Having said that, in fact, there is hardly ever any difference between the two. After all, I like watching TV and I like to watch TV are the same. I like swimming and I like to swim are also the same.

:)
 

MikeNewYork

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Masfer said:
What is the difference between like doing sth and like to do sth ?
Could you give an example to make it clearer ?

Thanks in advance !

There are a number of verbs that can take either a gerund (-ing verbal) or an infinitive (to + verb form) as a complement. "Like" is one of those verbs. When a verb can take either complement, the combination with the gerund and the combination with the infinitive can have differing meanings. In some cases, the difference in meaning is subtle; in other cases, it is dramatic.

As a rule, the gerund form will be more real, more concrete, more based on action. The infinitive form will be more hypothetical, more conceptual, less concrete.

I like swimming = more focused on the activity of swimming
I like to swim = more focused on the idea of swimming

With the verb like, the differences are subtle. One could use either to communicate a like of swimming, but the subtle differences are there.
 
M

Masfer

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re

Thank you both for your answers.
It is perfectly clear now 8)
In school I've always been told:
You always have to write: like verb+ing.

Now I know they were cheating me :lol:
ByE!
 

Tdol

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In BE, we tend to use the gerund for a general state of affairs and the infinitive for specific circumstances:

I like reading. (general state)
I don't like to read in cars. (specific circumstance- it makes me car sick)
;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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tdol said:
In BE, we tend to use the gerund for a general state of affairs and the infinitive for specific circumstances:

I like reading. (general state)
I don't like to read in cars. (specific circumstance- it makes me car sick)
;-)

Hmmm. That almost sounds opposite to AE, except I agree with your examples.
 

Tdol

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Another area where you lot have got it wrong? ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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tdol said:
Another area where you lot have got it wrong? ;-)

:drinking:
 
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