Vocabulary – How to Use the Verb ‘Like’!

by Melanie on May 12, 2010

The verb like is one of the most commonly used verbs in English. However, it is also one of the most commonly misused verbs in English. In this article you’ll learn how to use the verb like in a simple English sentence.


1. You MUST say what you like!

When you use the verb like, you MUST say what you like, even if you have to use ‘it’ or ‘this.’

I like. is NOT a complete sentence!


The correct pattern is:

subject + like + what you like


Think of Facebook:

When you ‘like’ something on Facebook, it doesn’t say “You like.”  It says “You like this.


Example sentences:

Do you like Lynn’s new haircut?
~ Yes! I like it!

My mom liked her Mother’s Day present.

I don’t like the way you treat people.

Does he like his new teacher?

~ No, he doesn’t like her!

On the weekends she likes to go shopping with her friends.

I don’t like interrupting her when she’s studying.


2. How much you like something always go before ‘like’ or after the object.

The verb like is ALWAYS followed by what you like [the object]. They can’t be separated. If you want to use very much, a lot, or so much, put them AFTER like:


subject + like + what you like + very much/a lot/so much


*You can NOT put very much, a lot, or so much between like and the object.


X: I like so much playing football!

X: I very like playing football!
[Very cannot be used by itself]


Example sentences:

He likes her very much.

My husband likes our new house very much!

Have you seen Dan’s new car?
~ Yes! I like it a lot!

I like playing football so much, I get up at 6am just to practice!

I like Depeche Mode’s new album a lot.


subject + really + like + what you like

*You can put really before like, but it cannot separate like and the object.
Example sentences:

What do you think of her new house?
~ I really like it!

He really likes playing video games. He plays them all day long!

What’s your favourite city?
~ Paris! I really like it!

My mom really likes old movies.

I really like Depeche Mode’s new album.


NOTE: You CAN’T like something too much. Too much is a negative expression. For example:

I ate too much chocolate and now I feel sick.


X: Teacher, I like you too much!


3. ‘Like’ can be followed by a gerund OR an infinitive.

She really likes to swim.

She really likes swimming.

*Some people will say there is a difference between the two, but don’t worry about it. It’s such a small difference that it’s almost meaningless.


Now you know how to use the verb like!

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