Friday, 29 June 2007

AAE Q78: 'like to do' vs 'like doing'


I saw this in a textbook. (It was an article about "my kind of entertainment")

"I like to get lost in a film and forget my worries."

Why not I like getting lost ....?

We learnt at school that after like in this type of sentences we should use "ing-forms" Would it have another meaning?

Thank you for your answer.


Firstly both like + infinitive (like to get) and like + -ing (like getting) are possible. In most cases there is no significant difference in meaning.

In British English, there is sometimes a difference between "I like doing" and "I like to do" :

I like doing something means that generally I enjoy it.
I like to do something can mean it is a regular habit or I think it is good or right to do it.

I like living here (I enjoy living here generally)
Mary likes peoples to be on time (she thinks it is a good idea for them to be on time).

I like swimming. (In general)
I like to swim in the mornings (regular).

Note: The difference between the two are very slight. As a non-native speaker I would not worry too much about the difference. Just learn that both are possible.

I found this video on Youtube. I hope it helps.