Difference between revisions of "Like (verb)"

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The word like in English has two main forms, as a [[verb]], and as a [[preposition]].  Low level learners often confuse the two meanings.
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== Transitive verb ==
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Like is a [[transitive verb]], which means it has to take an [[object]].  Low level learners may produce the following mistake:
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* S1: "Do you like football?"
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* S2 *"Yes, I like."
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S2 needs to say "Yes, I do" or "Yes, I like it/that/football".  But compare:
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* S1 "Do you swim?"
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* S2 "Yes, I swim."
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This [[parses]] because swim is an [[intransitive verb]], although it may be more common and appropriate to reply "Yes, I do".
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==Two main meanings ==
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The word like in English has two main forms (but several additional ones!); as a [[verb]], and as a [[preposition]].  Low level learners often confuse the two meanings.
  
 
* What does he ''like''? (verb) - He likes football.
 
* What does he ''like''? (verb) - He likes football.
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Students will often try to use "like" (prep) in their answers to these questions, e.g. *"He is like friendly".
 
Students will often try to use "like" (prep) in their answers to these questions, e.g. *"He is like friendly".
  
Students can use like as a preposition without knowing (1) that it is a preposition or (2) even what a preposition is, however they really ought to know what a verb is!
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Students can use like as a preposition without knowing (1) that it is a preposition or (2) even what a preposition is, however even low level learners really ought to know what a verb is!

Revision as of 07:53, 17 April 2019

Transitive verb

Like is a transitive verb, which means it has to take an object. Low level learners may produce the following mistake:

  • S1: "Do you like football?"
  • S2 *"Yes, I like."

S2 needs to say "Yes, I do" or "Yes, I like it/that/football". But compare:

  • S1 "Do you swim?"
  • S2 "Yes, I swim."

This parses because swim is an intransitive verb, although it may be more common and appropriate to reply "Yes, I do".

Two main meanings

The word like in English has two main forms (but several additional ones!); as a verb, and as a preposition. Low level learners often confuse the two meanings.

  • What does he like? (verb) - He likes football.
  • What is he like? (preposition) - He is friendly.
  • What does he look like? (preposition) - He is handsome.

NB: Students will often confuse the different forms of using be v. auxiliary do

Students will often try to use "like" (prep) in their answers to these questions, e.g. *"He is like friendly".

Students can use like as a preposition without knowing (1) that it is a preposition or (2) even what a preposition is, however even low level learners really ought to know what a verb is!