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

  • I like going to the cinema
  • I like to see all the latest movies.

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.

  • I like to visit the dentist twice a year.
  • I like my children to be in bed by nine.
  • I like to keep fit.

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

  • Would you like to have lunch one day next week?
  • I’d like to have your opinion.

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

  • Like me, you probably are a bit shocked by his behaviour.
  • What is Harry like? Is he conceited?
  • You look like you need to sit down.
  • I want to do something exciting – like bungee jumping.
  • It is just like him to be late.

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.)

  • I feel like I am a princess.
  • It was like I was back in the sixties.

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

  • I feel like going out for a meal.
  • I don’t feel like driving any more today.

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

  • It is quite like old times.
  • It is rather like it was before we had computers.

Here are some useful phrases using like.

Come when you like.

  • You are always welcome. Come when you like.

Do as you like.

  • It is entirely your choice. Do as you like.

If you like is used to make suggestions.

  • We could go later, if you like.

Like this is used when you are demonstrating something.

  • You put the paper in here like this.

Eat like a horse means to eat in large quantities.

  • Kate eats like a horse but she never seems to put on any weight.

Feel like a million means that you feel really good.

  • I have met a new girl. I feel like a million.

Go like clockwork means that it happens without problems.

  • The launch of the new product went like clockwork.

Like a bat out of hell means very fast.

  • He drove like a bat out of hell. I was scared.

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

  • He knows a lot about accounting but he is like a fish out of water in marketing.

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

  • The new iphone is selling like hot cakes.

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

  • He was so tired that he went out like a light when he lay on the sofa.

If you sleep well, you sleep like a log.

  • I slept really well.  I slept like a log.

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

  • I didn’t trust him so I watched him like a hawk for the whole time he was here. He didn’t do anything wrong.

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

  • Reports of their argument spread like wildfire through the company.


exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

exercise 4

21 thoughts on “Like”

  1. This very interesting to me .hope i had to improve a grammer on how to speak special asking Questions and answers.thanks so much just continue to send me.

  2. Just thanks for giving to me this free chance of being your student.You have a good lesson plan because after leading i try to do the exercises, for that reasons i ask you to continue to help me thanks

  3. Dear Parson,
    Thank you very much for the lesson.Could you Pls include usage of “BEING” in next lesson.



  4. I like the lessons and the way you share them::)) Thank you very much…::))Hope you nice time with your daughter in Dubai::))I wish also that it get warmer when you ll come back to your country::))

  5. Your lessons are so helpful! They help me keep my English since I don’t practice it with anyone.

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