Referencias gramaticales

'Like' for preference and description

Meaning and use

The word like can be used in a number of different ways. In this unit we look at two of these:

1. Like can be used as a verb to express a preference or interest in a person, place or thing.

I like your earrings. Where did you get them?

2. Like can also be used as a preposition to ask for a description of a person, place or thing.

Emily: What’s your English teacher like?

Bob: She’s kind and intelligent. 

 

Form (as verb)

We use like as a verb in this way: subject + like + object

Emily: I like sports. Do you like playing football?

Bob: Yes, I do. I also like fishing. Do you like fishing?

Emily: No, I don’t.

Positive

I like shopping.

Bob likes playing football.

Negative

I don’t like sports.

Emily doesn’t like reading.

Question

Do you like horror movies?

Does Bob like cartoons?

 

Form (as preposition)

We use like as a preposition in this set phrase:

what + to be + noun/noun phrase + like?

Andrea: What’s California like?

Jamie: It’s hot and sunny. 

 

Take note: Is the question asking for preference or description?

When asking for preference, we use like with do or does in the question.

Do you like playing tennis?

What sports do you like? 

We don’t use do or does when asking for a description. Instead, we start the question with what and end with like.

What is she like?

What’s London like?

What was your weekend like?

 

Take note: Time and place

We can specify time and place when asking for a description by using a phrase at the end of the question.

What will the weather be like next weekend?

What are the beaches like in Barcelona?

 

Spoken English

In formal speech (or writing), each word in a question usually appears separately.

What is your new house like?

However, we usually use contractions in informal speech (and writing).

What’s your new house like?

 

Practice

Match questions 1-8 with answers a-h.

1. What’s your new music teacher like?    a. No, I don’t. They’re so scary!

2. What was your weekend like?              b. They’re really friendly. I like them a lot.

3. Do you like watching horror movies?    c. Yes, I do. I like them a lot!

4. What are your new neighbours like?     d. It’s sunny and warm.

5. What movies do you like?                    e. He likes football and baseball.

6. What sports does your brother like?      f. Horrible! He’s so strict.

7. Do you like your new shoes?                g. I like action movies. They’re exciting!

8. What’s the weather like?                      h. It was fun! We went swimming.

 

Answers

1. What’s your new music teacher like? (f) Horrible! He’s so strict.

[This question is asking for a description (of a person). You can tell becuase it begins with ‘What’ and ends with ‘like’.]

 

2. What was your weekend like? (h) It was fun! We went swimming.

[This question is asking for a description (of a time). You can tell becuase it begins with ‘What’ and ends with ‘like’.]

 

3. Do you like watching horror movies? (a) No, I don’t. They’re so scary!

[This question is asking about preference (of a thing). You can tell becuase it begins with ‘Do’.]

 

4. What are your new neighbours like? (b) They’re really friendly. I like them a lot.

[This question is asking for a description (of people). You can tell because it begins with ‘What’ and ends with ‘like’.]

 

5. What movies do you like? (g) I like action movies. They’re exciting!

[This question is asking about preference (of thing). as it begins with ‘Do’]

 

6. What sports does your brother like? (e) He likes football and baseball.

[This question is asking about preference (of thing). You can tell because it has ‘does’ in the question.]

 

7. Do you like your new shoes? (c) Yes, I do. I like them a lot!

[This question is asking about preference (of thing). You can tell because it begins with ‘Do’.]

 

8. What’s the weather like? (d) It’s sunny and warm.

[This question is asking for a description (of thing). You can tell because it begins with ‘What’ and ends with ‘like’.]