- ‘What do you think of the film?’ ‘I like it.’ (NOT I am liking it.)
Like cannot normally be used without an object.
- ‘Do you like ballet?’ ‘Yes, I like it.’ (NOT — I like.)
Like can be followed by object + verb forms.
- I don’t like people telling me what to do.
Not like to can mean be unwilling to.
- I didn’t like to disturb him.
The conditional would like (+ infinitive) is common in requests and offers. It is used as a polite way of saying want.
- Would you like to come with us?
- I would like some cheese, please.
Like and as
We can use like or as to say that things are similar.
We use like before a noun or pronoun. It is similar to a preposition.
- She looks like her mother. (NOT She looks as her mother.)
- He ran like the wind.
We can use very, quite and other adverbs of degree to modify like.
- She is very like her mother.
As is a conjunction. It is used before a clause, and before an expression beginning with a preposition.
- Nobody loves her as I do.
- Do as I do.
In informal English like is often used as a conjunction instead of as. This is common in American English.
- Nobody loves her like I do.
Another use of as is to say what function or role a person or thing has – what jobs people do, what purposes things are used for, etc. In this case, as is used like a preposition, before a noun.
- He escaped from prison dressed as a woman.
- He worked as a waiter for two years.
- We think of Napoleon as a soldier and as a statesman.
Compare this use of as with like.
- As your brother, I must warn you to be careful. (I am your brother.)
- Like your brother, I must warn you to be careful. (I am not your brother, but he and I have similar attitudes.)