Like as a verb is taught fairly early as students like talking about their likes and dislikes.
- 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."
The object has to be a noun, a gerund, or an infinitive
- "I like playing football" (gerund)
- "I like to play football" (infinitive)
- "I like football" - (noun)
- *"I like play football" - (base form, error)
But note that where the verb and the noun are the same, the processing that produces erroneous sentences above produces parsable sentences, e.g. "I like dance"
The intensifier adverb is really, not very
Students often say *"I very like football", when they mean "I really like football" or "I like football very much". See really v. very
- 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.
There are several problems:
- Students may answer the wrong question, e.g. "What is he like?" + "He likes football."
- 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!