I like a dog/dogs

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dbwls

New Member
Korean&English
Hello everyone!
I'd like to ask which sounds more natural to native English speakers between "I like a dog." and "I like dogs"?

and speaking of 'native English speakers', can I just write 'the native speakers'? because everyone here knows 'the native speakers' mean native 'English' speakers. Is it wrong? and What if I use 'the native English speakers' instead? does it mean something different?
I'm always confused about the usage of the/a/nothing.

Thanks in advance!
 
  • 20000miles

    Member
    English - Australia
    I like dogs is the more natural phrase.It means that you like dogs in general. If you like a dog you should specify which dog you like. "I like your dog" or "I like that dog" are more acceptable.

    If we already know that you're talking about native English speakers it's possible to leave out the "English".

    Hope that helps.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    And of course it's not at all unusual to find a sentence beginning with this phrase:

    I like a dog that knows when to attack an intruder.
    I like a cat that can catch mice.
    That's a good dog you've got there- I like a dog that obeys its master.

    In these examples we are not talking about any specific animal, but one hypothetical animal (I like any dog that....)
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In general I think it's more usual to use 'a' when talking about consumables or ephemeral items, e.g.

    I like a nice cup of tea.
    I love a good holiday.
    I enjoy a glass of wine.
    I hope for a bright future.
    I like a bowl of cereal.
     
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