Verb + -ing or to... (3)

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Verb + -ing or to... (3)
like / would like etc.

A. like    love    hate    can't bear    enjoy    dislike    mind     can't stand

These verbs and expressions all mean 'like' or 'not like'. They are often followed by -ing:
  • Ann hates flying.
  • Why do you dislike living here?
  • I don't like people shouting at me. (= I don't like being shouted at.)

After love, hate and can't bear, you can also use to... . So you can say:
  • I love meeting people, or I love to meet people.
  • She can't bear being alone,  or She can't bear to be alone.

But after enjoy / dislike / mind / can't stand, we use only -ing (not 'to...'):
  • I enjoy being alone, (not 'I enjoy to be')
  • Tom doesn't mind working at night, (not 'mind to work')

B. Like

You can say 'I like doing something' or 'I like to do something'.
Often it doesn't matter which you use, so you can say:
  • I like getting up early,  or  I like to get up early.

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

'I like doing something' means 'I enjoy it':

  • Do you like cooking? (= do you enjoy it?)
  • I like living here. (= I enjoy it)

'I like to do something' means 'I think it is good or right to do it':

  • I like to clean the kitchen as often as possible. (This doesn't mean that I enjoy it; it means that I think it is a good thing to do.)
  • Mary likes people to be on time.

C. Would like / would love / would hate / would prefer are usually followed by to... (infinitive):

  • I would like to be rich.
  • Would you like to come to dinner on Friday?
  • I'd love (= would love) to be able to travel round the world.
  • Would you prefer to have dinner now or later?

Compare I like and I would like:

  • I like playing / to play tennis. (= I enjoy it in general)
  • I would like to play tennis today. (= I want to play today)

Note that would mind is followed by -ing (not to...):

  • Would you mind closing the door, please?

D. You can also say 'I would like to have done something' (= I regret now that I didn't or couldn't do something):

  • It's a pity we didn't see Val when we were in London. I would like to have seen her again.
  • We'd like to have gone on holiday but we didn't have enough money.

You can use the same structure after would love / would hate / would prefer:

  • Poor old Tom! I would hate to have been in his position.
  • I'd love to have gone to the party but it was impossible.



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