Like to V1/Like Ving

Schizophrenic Cat

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi,

What is the nuance to these two phrases? For example:

1 - I like to study linguistics.
2 - I like studying linguistics.

Both meaning "to love", what's the nuance to their meaning?

Thank you.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If you are a student of linguistics, (2) would mean that you are enjoying your course.

    If you like to study linguistics now and again, you might use (1).

    I am a historian and I like to study linguistics in my spare time.
     

    Schizophrenic Cat

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    If you are a student of linguistics, (2) would mean that you are enjoying your course.

    If you like to study linguistics now and again, you might use (1).

    I am a historian and I like to study linguistics in my spare time.

    Thank you. So we can say that verbs that can be followed with either to V1 or Ving without change of meaning mean you do something regularly when followed with Ving, and mean you do something sometimes when used with to V1, right?

    For example:

    1 - She started working in a restaurant.
    2 - He started to tell nonsense stories of his.

    In the first sentence, we cannot ( If we want our sentence to be perfectly grammatical ) use infinitive in place of gerund because working in a restaurant has become a way of life for her, not an activity she does sometimes.
    And in the second sentence, we cannot use gerund in place of infinitive because his telling his nonsense stories is not his way of life, but something he does every now and then. Am I right?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    So we can say that verbs that can be followed with either to V1 or Ving without change of meaning mean you do something regularly when followed with Ving, and mean you do something sometimes when used with to V1, right?

    You are saying there that when there is no change of meaning there is still a change of meaning: "...mean you do something regularly when followed with Ving, and mean you do something sometimes when used with to V1":confused:

    I don't think you can draw conclusions from like to do/like doing and apply them to start to do.../start doing...
     

    Schizophrenic Cat

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    You are saying there that when there is no change of meaning there is still a change of meaning: "...mean you do something regularly when followed with Ving, and mean you do something sometimes when used with to V1":confused:

    I don't think you can draw conclusions from like to do/like doing and apply them to start to do.../start doing...

    I thought you would understand, lady. But it seems that I wasn't clear enough to make you understand exactly what I had in my mind. If you please be so kind as to tell me whether what you said in your first post is the case also for other verbs like "start", I think it will do the trick :) Offering my regards.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Have you read previous posts on like followed by the infinitive or the -ing form of the verb?
    For example, like plus - ing or infinitive?.

    Although like + -ing form can be used when you are in the habit of doing something and like + infinitive can refer to a particular occasion (e.g. now and then), these meanings are depending on the context.

    Other verbs similar to like are hate, love and prefer.
    So you can say I love to eat chocolate with my elevenses and I love eating chocolate (at any time).

    As the "lady" said, you cannot generalise about start on the basis of like. This does not mean that the use of the infinitive is always the same as the -ing form. The context may play a part in what form you choose.
     

    Schizophrenic Cat

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Have you read previous posts on like followed by the infinitive or the -ing form of the verb?
    For example, like plus - ing or infinitive?.

    Although like + -ing form can be used when you are in the habit of doing something and like + infinitive can refer to a particular occasion (e.g. now and then), these meanings are depending on the context.

    Other verbs similar to like are hate, love and prefer.
    So you can say I love to eat chocolate with my elevenses and I love eating chocolate (at any time).

    As the "lady" said, you cannot generalise about start on the basis of like. This does not mean that the use of the infinitive is always the same as the -ing form. The context may play a part in what form you choose.

    Only after I read your post did I understand that velisairus had already given the necessary reply. I got her last sentence wrong. Thank you both. It's all clear now.
     
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