Today I put up a video on YouTube (which you can see here) giving a short outline of uses of the word like.
Like is a word that can be a verb or a preposition. The good news is that it is not too difficult to figure out when we are using like as a verb or when we are using like as a preposition.
Using like as a verb:
When we use like as a verb it always has a subject.
Like as a verb can be followed by “another verb + ing” or by “to + verb”, and has two different meanings.
Like + verb + ing
I like writing early in the morning.
In this sentence we have the subject “I” followed by the verb like followed by another verb write + ing.
This construction is used to express when the subject of the sentence enjoys (or does not enjoy something)
Mary doesn’t like listening to the news.
This sentence shows us that the subject of the sentence (Mary) does not like listening to the news
They like swimming at weekends.
This sentence shows us that the subject (they) like swimming
Like + to + verb
I like to read books
In this sentence we have the subject “I” followed by “to” followed by the verb.
This construction is used to express when the subject of the sentence wants to tell about their habits or preferences.
Mary likes to drink coffee
This sentence shows us that the subject of the sentence (Mary) has a habit of drinking coffee.
We like to go to the cinema on Saturdays.
This construction shows us that the subject of the sentence (we) have a preference for going to the cinema on Saturdays.
Using like as a preposition
When we use like as a preposition it always has an object after it.
The weather today is like yesterdays
This sentence shows us that the weather today is the same as the weather from yesterday.
The sentence construction is; the weather “the subject” followed by “like” followed by the “object”.
All sentences using like as a preposition follow this construction.
Your car does not sound ok, just before mine broke down it sounded like that.
Jane is wearing a dress like Kate’s
Using like in a question
When we use like in a question we are asking for a description, impression or a comparison.
When we use like to ask for a description or an impression we cannot use like in the answer!
Q: What is the weather like?
A: Its sunny and warm
Q: What are the exchange rates like today?
A: The dollar dropped on overnight trading so its no too good for our trip to the US.
When we use like to ask for a comparison we can use like in the answer!
Q What is John like?
A He is like Richard but has darker hair
Q What is Hamburg?
A Its like most North German cities but has a big lake in the city centre.
BE CAREFUL: The word liking is a noun and is used to describe a feeling of attraction or love or fondness.
Don’t confuse it with like as a verb or preposition!
For more information click here to go my website www.smartlanguagesolutions.com