Gerund, infinitive: I <enjoy, like, love> <eating, to eat> pizza.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Ni neu, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Ni neu New Member

    Bilbao, Spain
    Spain, Basque and Spanish

    This question isn't really a big deal. I've asked it to some native speakers and they don't know what to tell me, so I guess I shouldn't care about it. But I'm so picky... Well, this is my doubt: should I use the gerund or the infinitive after some verbs such us "like," "enjoy," "love," etc.?

    For instance, which one of these would be right?

    - I like to eat pizza / I like eating pizza
    - I enjoy to eat pizza / I enjoy eating pizza
    - I love to eat pizza / I love eating pizza

    I would use the gerund for all of them except for the first example. Any idea?

  2. Metztli

    Metztli Senior Member

    The Purgatory
    Mexico Spanish / English
    Hi Ni Neu!

    In these example you gave, it is correct to use the ing form.
    "I like/love/enjoy eating pizza".

    I believe it's a matter of style.

    Let's see what the others have to say.
  3. rafaelgan Senior Member

    So, is it the same thing if I say, I like to eat pizza or I like eating pizza?
  4. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Both sentences are correct.
  5. winklepicker

    winklepicker Senior Member

    English (UK)
    My tuppence-worth:
    I think this is probably a matter of taste. Much like the pizza...

    (By the way, the pizza example is not a very good one: most of us natives would say 'I like pizza'.)
  6. Ni neu New Member

    Bilbao, Spain
    Spain, Basque and Spanish
    Thanks. In case of doubt I'll use the gerund...
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    To help resolve your doubts, at least a little, I recommend that you read through some of these threads:
    Gerund, infinitive
  8. ajohan Senior Member

    UK, English
    A note about "like to" which doesn't seem to be covered on the other thread. If we say "I like to wash up straight after my meals" we are not saying that we enjoy the feeling of the warm soapy water. Rather, it means that we prefer to do it straight away to avoid having dirty dishes around.
    So it's typical with routines. Another one: "I like to do my homework straight after class". This would mean to get it out of the way, not that we enjoy doing homework.
    In these cases when we mean "prefer to", like + would convey the wrong meaning.
  9. Mitita New Member

    Spanish, Uruguay
    Sorry I'm so late for this, but I have a question related to enjoy.

    In some English grammar books it is said that enjoy is usually followed by a gerund, which is what sounds best.
    My question is: Is there a chance to use an infinitve? If so, in what case would that be possible?

    Thanks in advance.
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    You mean something like "I enjoy to eat pizza"?
    No, that would not be possible.

    You can say "I like eating pizza," and "I like to eat pizza."
    But not "I enjoy to eat pizza."
  11. Mitita New Member

    Spanish, Uruguay
    I thought so. It's probably used for other types of constructions not infinitives.

    Thank you very much!
    I'm new here and I love the way it works.
  12. crossit New Member

    French - France
    Does anyone have an explanation for this impossible marriage of 'enjoy' with 'TO DO' ? ? ?
    My guess is that enjoy is only used to describe a characteristic of the subject, so it's always about 'in general', never about 'this specific situation'.
    Do you concur?

    why does my grammar book say that 'dislike' also refuses to be followed by 'TO DO'? wouldn't it work just as 'like', accepting both 'V-ing' & 'TO V'?
  13. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hello crossit, and welcome to the forum! :) It's an interesting theory, but I don't think it holds water. I think it's just a question of "that's what we say" (in much the same way as verbs in French will sometimes take one construction and not another) rather than any kind of logic. Actually you can quite happily use "enjoy" about a specific situation. After a meal, you'd say "I enjoyed that", at a concert "are you enjoying it?".
  14. crossit New Member

    French - France
    Thank you Enquiring Mind!
  15. Itismefeu New Member

    Portuguese - Brazilian

    I know that "enjoy" is followed by gerund, but in this sentence I was not quite sure:

    I enjoy going/to go shopping.

    "going shopping" sounds a bit odd

    Thanks in advance!
  16. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    You could shorten it to "I enjoy shopping" but "I enjoy going shopping" is correct. It's just a little awkward-sounding with two "-ing"s next to each other. "I enjoy going out to shop" or "I enjoy shopping expeditions/trips" or "I enjoy getting out to shop" would all include the idea that part of the enjoyment is getting out of the house.
  17. Itismefeu New Member

    Portuguese - Brazilian
    Thank you, JamesM!

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