Like has two main uses, which can sometimes easily be confused.
- The first one students often learn is the verb, used to describe something we enjoy or find pleasing:
I like reading books by Chaucer and Shakespeare.
I would like to travel the world.
I never used to like coffee, but now I love it!
- The other usage is as a preposition or adverb, to say that one thing is somehow similar to another:
Jeff is very much like his father: tall, thin, and clever.
That car looks just like mine—wait a minute, it is mine! Stop! Thief!
When I worked at that bank, I worked like a dog.
- This verb can be followed by either the gerund or the infinitive:
Valerie likes swimming.
Valerie likes to swim.
- However, when the verb is in the conditional, only the infinitive is possible:
Valerie would like to swim, but the pool is closed.
- Some possible confusion can arise in questions such as:
What is he like?
What does he look like?
What does he like?
What would he like?
In the first two sentences, the preposition is being used; in the last two, it’s the verb.
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