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ESL forum > Ask for help > Like studying or Like to study? Any differencesin use?    

Like studying or Like to study? Any differencesin use?


Like studying or Like to study? Any differencesin use?
Im teaching to my sts Verbs that express opinion or feelings (Like, love, hate, enjoy...) They have to be used with a second verb in the Gerund. Eg: I like studying the past... However, sometimes I see that I Like to study is also used. Are both ways correct or are there any differences? Can annyone help? Thanks in advance.

4 Dec 2009      


I don t think there is any difference in meaning between "she likes studying" and "she likes to study"; both are saying just "studying is one of activities she likes".

4 Dec 2009     


I ve been told, by a couple of very experienced linguists, that it is a matter of how the speaker really feels about the activity.
"I dislike WATCHING soccer games" means that the speaker does not like the activity at all.
On the other hand,
"I dislike TO WATCH soccer games" means that the speaker, at a very specific situation, time or context doesn like the activity.
This idea applies to like, dislike, love, hate and enjoy.
If you have the time to check this out in real native speaker conversations, you will notice that they really use it that way, even though they are not able to explain it when you ask them for a reason.
This is not in text books but you can see/hear it even in movies.
Greetings from Mexico.

4 Dec 2009     

[email protected]

In my opinion, there is a difference between using the ing and to inf. .
When you say:
 "I don t like reading" (for instance) you mean you don t like the activity of reading in general.. But if you say: "I don t like to read..." the sentence requires some more information... because it means you don t like to read in certan occasions, time, space..
Eg. "I don t like to read when I go to bed"
         Is different than saying:
     "I don t like reading."

4 Dec 2009     

Russian Federation

I can add to the previous answers that as far as like is concerned, the difference is:

I like doing sth = It gives me pleasure to do it

I like to do sth = I think it s right to do it (e.g. I like to go to the dentist twice a year. = It doesn t really give me pleasure but it s right to do so to take care of the teeth).

And usually the gerund is used to speak about the situation in general, as someone s preference, while the infinitive is used to talk about a particular situation (that s what the previous answers are about).

4 Dec 2009     


As a Native speaker, I can tell you that there is very little difference between the two options or none at all... and frankly, I am quite tired of seeing my students getting back essays that I have looked over first, corrected with them using the "like to" form and having their teachers say it was wrong. Confused

4 Dec 2009     


in Using English Grammar book by Betty Azar it is written there that there are no difference in meaning for some verbs when they use -Ing or to-inf. The verbs are :
1. Like
2. Love
3. hate
4. can t stand
5. can t bear
6. start
7. begin
8. continue

hope this little piece of information can help



4 Dec 2009     


I agree with provincespace.
If you say
I like doing the washing up. (this means you really enjoy doing it.)
BUT if you say
I like to do the washing up before I go to bed (it means that you do not necessarily enjoy it, you just think it is a good idea to do it.)
Hope it helps.

4 Dec 2009     


I like to do the washing up before bed. AND I like doing the washing up before bed. - mean exactly the same thing .. sorry...ask any native here and they will most likely say the same thing.

4 Dec 2009     

Fabiola Salinas

Hi! Nice issue you ve brought up!! I agree with both Judith & Province. LIKE is a verb which can be followed by both -ING or TO INF. While -ING is most frequently used as it refers to sth you enjoy doing generally; TO INF. is used when you refer to sth in particular which you needn t enjoy doing but consider right to be done.

We shouldn t disregard Zora s valuable comments as a native speaker, though!!!! Most likely we are too concerned about its grammatical expalnation but what finally counts is its usage! Good luck!!! Fabiola.  :o)

4 Dec 2009     

New Zealand

I m with Zora on this one guys... for me as a native I use these interchangeably with no difference in meaning.

4 Dec 2009     

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