like to be touched/ being touched

Discussion in 'English Only' started by RomanPinsEveryone, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. RomanPinsEveryone

    RomanPinsEveryone New Member

    Chinese
    1. Turtles don't like to be touched.
    2. Turtles don't like being touched.

    I think there are no differences between 1 and 2.


    But


    3. The turtle doesn't like to be touched.
    4. The turtle doesn't like being touched.


    I think there might have a difference between 3 and 4.

    The 3rd one may mean the speaker already knew the turtle doesn't like to be touched,
    and the 4th one may mean the speaker sees someone touching the turtle, and suddenly realized the turtle doesn't like to be touched.

    Do my conjectures make sense?

    Thank you guys !
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    1 and 2 differ slightly from 3 and 4 but not from themselves.

    Turtles -> turtles in general; the average turtle.
    The turtle -> the species known as "turtle."
    The turtles -> the turtles that you see here; the specific turtles that I mentioned earlier; these turtles, as opposed to any other turtles.

    The turtle is more formal.
     
  3. RomanPinsEveryone

    RomanPinsEveryone New Member

    Chinese

    sorry, but I don't know what are you talking about
    I am focusing on " like to be touched or being touched ".

    The difference between these two is what I'm trying to figure out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  4. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Sorry, but no: I don't think that in most cases there would be any real difference. Version (3) sounds slightly more formal to me, but that's about all.

    For example, a notice in a zoo where a turtle was kept might read:
    Please don't touch the turtle: he doesn't like to be touched/he doesn't like being touched.

    Alternatively, the turtle's owners might say, to someone who was about to touch him, either "The turtle doesn't like to be touched" or "The turtle doesn't like being touched". :)
     
  5. RomanPinsEveryone

    RomanPinsEveryone New Member

    Chinese
    ok! that's what I thought too.

    but I have to say sorry for my english, I edited the post just now.

    before editing, I said "I think 3 and 4 might have a difference. " and "I think 1 and 2 have no differences. "

    but actually I should've said "I think there are no differences between 1 and 2. " and "I think there might have a difference between 3 and 4. " instead.

    ha, I think I got you confused when you read it at first.
     
  6. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    You asked about possible differences:
    The difference in your examples is
    (1&2) Turtles (plural) and (3&4)The turtle (singular or uncountable)
     
  7. RomanPinsEveryone

    RomanPinsEveryone New Member

    Chinese
    no, I compare sentence one with sentence two, and sentence three with sentence four.

    It's my fault that I didn't make it clear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  8. Aeqin

    Aeqin Member

    English - U.S.
    I think they mean the same exact thing.
     
  9. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    1. Turtles don't like to be touched.
    2. Turtles don't like being touched.

    3. The turtle doesn't like to be touched.
    4. The turtle doesn't like being touched.

    I now think that your question was about the difference between to be and being - if there is one - in 1&2 and, separately, in 3&4.

    In your example, there is a very slight difference between the infinitive form -> "to verb" (i.e. to be) and the continuous form -> "verbing" (i.e. being)

    There is not a great difference and, to most students, that slight difference is unimportant.
     
  10. RomanPinsEveryone

    RomanPinsEveryone New Member

    Chinese

    yes, I was asking about the difference between to be touched/being touched .

    I know this is unimportant.

    but could you explain the slight difference between these two forms?
     
  11. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Yes, but I am not sure that it will help you...

    1. Turtles don't like to be touched. -> turtles do not like a touch
    2. Turtles don't like being touched. -> turtles do not like the process and duration of someone touching them.
     
  12. RomanPinsEveryone

    RomanPinsEveryone New Member

    Chinese
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