like+infinitive or ...-ing?
I have seen both of these sentences: "I like listening to music." or "I like to listen to music." Up to now I have used "I like listening to music." and my coursebook makes students practice the "like+...-ing" form too.
Can somebody tell me if both sentences are really correct or not? What is the difference? (Where can I find grammatical explanation for it?)
Often, gerunds (verbs like "listening" when used as nouns) and infinitives with "to" are interchangeable. That's one of the cases where they are.
The proverb goes "Seeing is believing", but one could also say "To see is to believe", and it would still be grammatically correct and carry the same meaning. (Of course, it would still sound strange because that's not how the proverb goes, but that's not the point. :))
Sometimes a gerund sounds better: "The students must learn reading, writing, and arithmetic", not "The students must learn to read, to write, and arithmetic", because a gerund feels like a noun (and therefore goes well with "arithmetic") and an infinitive does not, even though the basic meaning is the same. But, by contrast, "The students must learn to read" sounds better than "The students must learn reading", since now the emphasis is on the action: the students must be taught how to do something, which sounds better than teaching them a thing.
In the particular case of "I like...", however, either one sounds perfectly fine.
What I learnt is that verb of taste use the -ing form (like, love, enjoy...).
Grammar books indicate a difference:
- Like + -ing = taste. "I like hoovering my flat" => You are probably fucking crazy lol but you have the right to enjoy hoovering your flat :-o
- Like + infinitive = convenience. "I like to hoover my flat in the morning" => doesn't mean you enjoy hoovering your flat but you prefer to do it in the morning because you think it's more covenient, or you're not too tired to do it, etc.
Is it something that just reads in grammar books but that is not true?
"verbs", not "verb", sorry.
Rather than "I like to hoover my flat in the morning", I would probably say, "I prefer hoovering my flat in the morning" -- but "to hoover" would also be very possible. (Well, actually, I would say "vacuum" and "apartment" rather than "hoover" and "flat", as I'm an American, but that's not important. ;))
I think there is a subtle distinction between "I like hoovering my flat" and "I like to hoover my flat", though... out of context, to me, the first one is more likely to suggest that I like the action of doing it, and the second is more likely to suggest that I like to do it often. But in context, either one can be used either way without sounding strange.
Yes, that's why I meant actually: a difference between the action itself and what's around it.
One again this is british (British National Corpus, sorry lol) but here's an example where the use of "like + infinitive" is probably clearer:
"I like to think of this next Fodorian thesis as a kind of "methodological dualism"."
It's not that he "enjoys" thinking of it this way, it's that he thinks it's the best way to think of it.
However, "would like" is always followed by the infivitine, never the -ing form =>"I would like to go to NYC", but not "I would like going to NYC". At least not if you mean you wish you went there.
Could "I would like going to NYC" be correct if I meant "I would like/enjoy NYC if I went there" and not "I which I went to NYC" ?
I thought there was a slight difference between American and British usage here with the verbs 'to like' and 'to love'. I thought the British would be more likely to use the gerund and the Americans the infinitive i.e.
BrE 'I like dancing'
AmE ' I like to dance'
The verb 'to enjoy' can only take the gerund construction.
Thank you for your answers!
I love traveling
I love to travel
''I thought the British would be more likely to use the gerund and the Americans the infinitive i.e.
BrE 'I like dancing'
AmE ' I like to dance' ''
Well, I've yet to hear Englishmen saying ''I would love/like dancing samba''
instead of ''I would love/like to dance samba'' ;)
>>Well, I've yet to hear Englishmen saying ''I would love/like dancing samba''
instead of ''I would love/like to dance samba'' ;)<<
Lol, yeah not quite the same thing...