Indeed. “I like to do” always has some nuance of “I prefer”, “I choose” or “I want”. “I like doing” means that it happens, and get enjoyment from it.Hi Chameleon Dave! You've given a very long, interesting explanation! But I'd like to know your comments on my explanation above, about the distinction between like to and like -ing. Here are some more examples:
I like to know what's happening. This doesn't mean that I feel pleasure at knowing what's happening, but that I consider it right.
I like travelling by night. This means I actually enjoy travelling in the dark.
I like to travel by night. I consider it a good idea, there's less traffic etc.
I like to wash the dishes before I go to bed (I consider it a good idea) because I don't like finding them there in the morning (I don't enjoy finding them there).
Often I like to do is equivalent to I choose to do, while I like doing is similar to I enjoy doing.
Truly absurd!By the way, I'm getting all of this purely from reflecting on how speakers of standard English normally express themselves. All I have ever seen in textbooks of English as a foreign language is “UK English says ‘like doing’ and US English says ‘like to do’,” which is an absurd simplification.