like to go/like going


Senior Member
Italy, Italian
Hi everyone!

I would like to ask you something I have been wondering about for a while without asking though.
When I studied English I was taught that after like you need to use gerund.
Despite of that, I have frequently heard -by English native speakers- to say:"like to go/to read, etc".
Is that correct? Is this a change that has occured in the language?

I am eager to know!

Thanks a lot!
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Both are completely normal and correct. I don't know why you were taught that only the gerund is allowable - that's certainly not right for present-day English, and I don't think it was ever true in the past either. (It's rather hard to search on Google or Google Books for evidence of changes in grammar. I haven't noticed any change in preference as you move from old books to modern books.)


    Senior Member
    I like to go to the movies, I like going to the difference. I like to go for long walks, I like going for long walks, no difference...I like to know what the weather will be, I like knowing what the weather will be... no difference...


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I like going to the cinema ( it sounds ok to me )

    I like to go to the cinema ( it sounds weird to me )

    Nonetheless, Google results for both are plentiful, and in contexts where people seem to have a good command of the English. I don't think the raw numbers of Google are reliable indications of proportionate use, or anything else, but it is the case that:
    Google claims 1,420,000 results for "I like to go to the movies."
    and about 565,000 results for "I like going to the movies."
    Here are some earlier threads on the subject. You may find them interesting. People try to explain the difference in meaning, if any, between the gerund and the infinitive. (They do not always agree.)