Like is such a small and simple word, but has a few different meanings that can cause confusion.
In this mini lesson I will try to help you understand this word a little better.
Like can be a verb or a preposition
A verb describes an action
A preposition is used to link a noun or pronoun to another word
When we use like as a verb it uses a person as the subject:
“I like to swim in the summer”
“I don’t like the new Prime Minister”
Like as a verb changes meaning depending if it followed by ing or to.
Ing = general enjoyment – “I like swimming in the summer”
To = habit of preference – “I like to sit in the sun”
When we use like as a preposition it has an object after it:
“That sounds like our dog barking”
“His wife is not like her mother”
The question WHAT LIKE causes issues for many learners of English.
When you hear the question with WHAT LIKE the question is asking for a description, impression or comparison.
“What is London like?”
“Its big, noisy and has a lot of people”
“What is the new restaurant like?”
“It’s a bit too posh for me”
“What is Michael like?”
“He is not like his sister!”
When we answer a WHAT LIKE question and are describing or giving a description, we do not use like in the answer, however we can use like in the answer when we are making a comparison.
Text by Feargal Coffey
Photo: See text on photo
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