would like (to?) and like (to?)


Senior Member
Mandarin - China
Hi, there!
The following is from a book called Advanced English Grammar in Use:
1.After 'want' and 'would like' in if-clauses and wh-clauses we can often leave out a 'to-infinitive' or use 'to'. In other clauses (not if- and wh-clauses) we include 'to'.
2.In if-clauses and wh-clauses we usually leave out 'to' after 'like'. However, we include 'to' with negative forms of want, would like, and like, including in if-clauses and wh-clauses.

Then, I found this sentence in the exercise:
A:'Could I ask you a personal question?'
B:'Of course. Ask anything you like.(or you 'd like to)'

I'm confused. The sentence 'Ask anything you like.' isn't a if-clause or wh-clause. Why does the answer leaves out 'to' after 'like' and use a 'to' after 'would like'?
Thanks in advance.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm confused too! It wouldn't surprise me if they'd made a mistake in the question, and what it should have said was: Of course. Ask whatever you like.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It is a wh-clause, but not marked with a wh-word. Anything you like = anything that you like. We wouldn't ever say :cross:'anything which you like' (I don't know why), but 'you like' is still a relative clause (a form of wh-clause) attached to 'anything'. Their advice also applies where the wh-word is the independent head of the clause, not attached to a previous noun: Do what(ever) you like. You can leave when(ever) you like.