Would like

From Teflpedia

Would like is an English lexical-grammatical structure, meaning "want", which combines the full modal verb "would" and the lexical verb "like".


  • "Would you like to drink a cup of tea?"
  • "No, I would like a cup of coffee."


This form can either take a to-infinitive as a catenative verb or a noun as a direct object.

"I would like" is contracted to "I'd like". The negative may be contracted as "I'd not like" or "I wouldn't like".

This uses the past tense for an irrealis mood. For past time therefore we have to use "would have liked" or circumlocution with "wanted"/"desired", etc.


Learners often make errors such as:

  • *"I would like to a banana" (using to with a noun)
  • "I would like chair" (dropping indefinite article)
  • "I would like two banana" (dropping plural marker)
  • *"I would like eat a pizza" (using a bare infinitive when a to-infinitive is required)
  • etc.