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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 21st, 2019, 09:16 pm
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Default don't like to

Hi,

Can I say "I don't like to..." if I have never done it? For example,

"I have never played tennis and I don't like to do it."

Thanks.

Last edited by susan53 : Jul 22nd, 2019 at 01:37 am.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 22nd, 2019, 01:42 am
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Default Re: don't like to

No - if you've never done something, how can you know if you enjoy doing it or not? You're talking here about what you want to do - not about what you enjoy. So you can say :
I've never played tennis and I don't want to try.

but if you use like, you are making a hypothetical prediction, so you need would :
I've never played tennis and I wouldn't like to try.
The version with want sounds more natural however.

I suggest you change your mind though - it's a great game! Much better:
I've never played tennis but I'd love to try
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Last edited by susan53 : Jul 22nd, 2019 at 03:10 am.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 1st, 2019, 08:16 am
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Default Re: don't like to

Hi susan,

question 1:
If someone has to do something that he doesn't like to do, can I use either sentence #1 or #2 here?

1.I don't like to talk to him but I have to.

2.I don't like talking to him but I have to.

question 2:
If someone can choose not to do something again if he doesn't like to do it, can I use either 1 or 2 here?

1. I don't like to talk to him. So I wouldn't like to talked to him again.

2. I don't like talking to him. So I wouldn't like to talked to him again.

question 3:

Can I use either sentence 1 or 2 here?

1. You have been a teacher for many years now. Do you like to be a teacher?

2. You have been a teacher for many years now. Do you like being a teacher?

Thank you a lot.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 1st, 2019, 11:10 am
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Default Re: don't like to

See my first reply here (would enjoy + v.ing ?)
before you read on.

As indicated there and in my other replies in this thread, when discussing the verb like you always need to decide first if you're talking about :
a) enjoyment (like + Ving)
b) whether you think it's a good idea to do something or not (like + to + infinitive)
c) whether it's something you do or don't want to do (would like + to + infinitive)

So:

1. Perhaps - 1/2 can certainly be interpreted as expressing enjoyment (so is possible). What would be the context for 1/1? It seems possible but without knowing the context, I can't be sure.

2. The verb in the second sentence of each example is incorrect. After would like to the infinitive must be used (that's a syntactic rule) - so I wouldn't like to talk to him again. As for the extract as a whole - I can't think of a context where 2/1 might be said, so can't give you an answer. Can you provide one? Remember - grammatical choices express meaning, and the meaning of a sentence always depends on the context and the speaker's intention in that context. Isolated sentences, devoid of context, are impossible to interpret or judge unless they break a clear syntactic rule (eg as in your second sentence here that to can't be followed by a past form verb). 2/2 can easily be interpreted as expressing enjoyment in the situation, so no problem.

3. 3/1 sounds strange to me. The meaning seems clearly "Do you enjoy..." rather than "Do you think it's a good idea...". Again, I can't think of a context which would produce it.

I would say that all these examples would probably refer to a context where the speaker is asking about the listener's feelings (of enjoyment/discomfort) rather than whether they think something is "a good idea" or not, so like + Ving is more probabale (in British English certainly)
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 6th, 2019, 08:29 am
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Default Re: don't like to

Hi susan,

The verb 'like' in the following sentences all mean 'enjoyment'.

1. Richard doesn't like to exercise because it's tiring for him, but he has to do it in order to keep in shape.

Does the sentence above make sense when you have to do something you don't enjoy? Can we also use 'doesn't like exercising' to mean the same thing here?

2. Richard doesn't like to run so he walks instead to keep in shape. Running is too tiring for him.

Does the sentence above make sense when you don't have to do something you don't enjoy and you can choose to do it or not? Can we also use 'doesn't like running' to mean the same thing here?

Thank you very much for your reply.

Last edited by susan53 : Sep 6th, 2019 at 12:00 pm.
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Unread Sep 6th, 2019, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: don't like to

In British English both of those examples would more likely use the Ving form, especially the second. In the first, as it's "tiring" there's also the idea that it's not recommendable so it would be possible.
in American English, like + to + infinitive is more likely to be substituted for like +ving to express enjoyment.

I'm sure this has been discussed in a previous thread, but I'm afraid I can't find it now. If anyone can, please leave a link.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 7th, 2019, 03:17 am
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Default Re: don't like to

Hi susan,

1.Do you like to read novels?
2.Do you like reading novels?

Both 'like' in the sentences above mean 'enjoyment'. What is the difference in meaning between them?

Thanks a lot.

Last edited by susan53 : Sep 10th, 2019 at 10:13 am.
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Unread Sep 10th, 2019, 10:23 am
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Default Re: don't like to

Have a look at my previous replies. Although I believe there's more overlap in American English, as a British English speaker I don't see them as both expressing enjoyment.

For me, the sentence which expresses enjoyment is the version with like + Ving - while the other would be much more likely to be used in a situation where it means "I think it's a good idea". My usual example (and apologies if I'm repeating this from another thread, but as I said before, I can't find it) is:

I don't like going to the dentist, but I like to go every six months so that there's never any huge problems.

The first clause expresses my idea of how enjoyable it is, while the second says that I think it's a good idea.

Using an example with books like you did, I might say :

I like reading crime novels, but I know they're not really great literature, so every so often I like to read something more serious and intellectually challenging.

Again, the first part talks about what I enjoy, while the second says what i think it's a good idea to do.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 13th, 2019, 02:23 am
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Default Re: don't like to

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
as a British English speaker I don't see them as both expressing enjoyment.
Hi susan,
I'm a little confused about the quote above. Do you mean the 'like' in the sentence 'Do you like reading novels?' doesn't express 'enjoyment?

How do you tell if the speaker means 'it's a good idea' or 'enjoyment' when someone asks: 'Do you like to read novels?' without further context?

Thank you very much.

Last edited by fface : Sep 13th, 2019 at 08:05 pm.
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Unread Sep 19th, 2019, 03:54 am
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Default Re: don't like to

Have a look at what I said in the second paragraph : For me, the sentence which expresses enjoyment is the version with like + Ving

As for your other question - in real life communication it's impossible to have a sentence which doesn't have a context. Language is always used between at least two people (speaker/listener(s); writer/reader(s)) and the context is established by that : Where are they? What's the speaker/writer's purpose? What's their relationship? What's the surrounding co-text etc etc

Here, the distinction between whether the infinitive form expressed enjoyment or a recommendation would probably depend on the co-text, as in my previous example I don't like going to the dentist, but I like to go every six months so that there's never any huge problems.
Here the co-text makes it clear that the infinitive can't be talking about enjoyment. I've already said I don't like (=enjoy) going, and go on to give the reason why it's a good idea. The interpretation of the infinitive is therefore clear.

If on the other hand someone said :
A : My favourite sport is skiing. What about you? Do you like it?
B: Yes, I quite like to ski though it's not my favourite sport by any means.

A's first utterance makes it clear that the conversation is about enjoyment - and so B's reply would probably be interpreted in that sense.

But if you just invent a sentence using like to+ infinitive without a context, there's no way of deciding.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 22nd, 2019, 04:18 am
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Default Re: don't like to

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post

If on the other hand someone said :
A : My favourite sport is skiing. What about you? Do you like it?
B: Yes, I quite like to ski though it's not my favourite sport by any means.

A's first utterance makes it clear that the conversation is about enjoyment - and so B's reply would probably be interpreted in that sense.
Hi susan,

Your above example made me think of a question as follows:

I don't know if the listener B skis or not, but I want to find out if he/she enjoys it. Is it OK to ask him/her a question like this below:

A: My favorite sport is skiing. What about you? Do you like to ski, too?/ Do you like skiing, too?
B: I don't know. I have never done it. But I would like to try if I have a chance.

Many thanks.

Last edited by susan53 : Sep 22nd, 2019 at 08:32 am.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 22nd, 2019, 08:40 am
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Default Re: don't like to

As I have said above, as a British English speaker I would always say Do you like skiing? in this situation. But I know that in US English (which is rapidly influencing UK English too) the to + infinitivestructure is also used, so I imagine it would be fine - which is why it's included in my example. Look at B's reply : Yes, I quite like to ski . Obviously, if it can be used in an answer it could also be used in the original question.
But notice that the concept of enjoyment has already been established by the co-text : My favorite sport is skiing. What about you? This is the important thing that allows the listener to understand what s/he is being asked about.
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