English as a Second Language/like,,,

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QUESTION: Hi

Hope you are fine. Could you please help me with the following question?


If I am traveling, I like ........ the night before.
A) to pack
B) packing

Please explain your reasons.
Thank you in advance. Wishing you all the best.
Hame

ANSWER: Hi Hame,

both options are correct here.

See the link below:

http://blog.sproutenglish.com/6-easy-grammar-rules-for-gerunds-infinitives/

3. Verb + Gerund
A gerund or an infinitive can be used after a main verb. It depends on the verb, and there isnít an easy rule for this case. Memorizing the most common verbs that take a gerund, such as advise, avoid, enjoy, finish, practice, quit, and suggest, is helpful.

My teacher advised studying for the quiz.
They enjoy making crafts in class.
*Donít forget that some verbs take either a gerund or an infinitive with no change in meaning! Some common verbs include like, love, and hate.

She likes watching movies.
She likes to watch movies.


I hope this helps.

~Amy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your answer.
To tell you the truth, I found the sentence in "Oxford English Grammar Course," a grammar book by Michael Swan & Catherine Walter.

The book says(page 100):
WITH "LIKE", WE PREFER AN INFINITIVE WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CHOICES AND HABITS.
For example, "If I am traveling, I LIKE TO PACK the night before. (NOT I like packing the night before.)

The book says the use of VERB+ING is wrong in the sentence above. What do you think?

Thank you for taking the time to help me.
Best

Answer
Hame,

I think the "right answer" depends on the book you read about this topic.

Here is a quote from another Oxford grammar book:

Verbs followed by either the -ing form or the infinitive
2a When verbs like can't bear, like, love, hate, prefer are followed by the -ing form, they tend to refer to a general activity.
2b BUT when these verbs are followed by the infinitive, they tend to refer to particular occasions.

(Key words above: "TEND TO" so the rule is not set in stone)

British English speakers may be more strict when it comes to this (I really don't know), but to the best of my knowledge, we use "like" with infinitives as well as gerunds interchangeably in American English.

Here are more links to support my answer above:

http://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/gerund_or_infinitive_same_list.htm

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/hate-like-love-and-prefe

Sometimes the context might dictate which verb form is more appropriate, but otherwise I use them interchangeably and I teach my students to do the same.

With that in mind you don't have to agree with me. You're an English teacher yourself and I'm sure this topic has been addressed by one of your teachers/professors at some point.

I hope this helps.

~Amy

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

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I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

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I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

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