You probably know that the verb like can be followed by either the -ing form or by an infinitive.

Often these two forms mean exactly the same thing but there can be a difference between them. When we use like to there is an ide that we think is is a good idea, even if not pleasant, and it is probably a regular action.

We use would like to to make polite offers and requests.

Used as a preposition, like often means 'similar' or 'typical'..

In informal American English, like is used to mean 'as if'. (Some people think it is 'incorrect'  but you will certainly hear it a lot.)

Don't confuse that with feel like meaning 'a desire to do someting'.

Unusually for a preposition, like can have the adverbs quite or rather in front of it.

Here are some useful phrases using like.

Come when you like.

Do as you like.

If you like is used to make suggestions.

Like this is used when you are demonstrating something.

Eat like a horse means to eat in large quantities.

Feel like a million means that you feel really good.

Go like clockwork means that it happens without problems.

Like a bat out of hell means very fast.

Like a fish out of water means that the person does not fit in at all.

If something sells like hot cakes, it sells really well.

If you go out like a light, you fall asleep immediately.

If you sleep well, you sleep like a log.

If you watch like a hawk, you watch really closely.

If news spreads like wildfire,  everybody hears it very quickly.


exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

exercise 4

Return to List of Grammar Lessons