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Session 2

In this session we continue looking at the word like. And to help you when giving descriptions, we do some vocabulary work. Time to learn some adjectives!

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Activity 4

6 Minute Grammar: Like

'Like' as a verb and preposition

It's time for 6 Minute Grammar. This week Sophie and Finn explain different meanings of the word like.

And we find out if Sophie likes Chinese food.

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Finn
Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Finn.

Sophie
And me, Sophie. Hello. Today, we're talking about the word like.

Finn
Yes, the word like. We'll be looking at two different ways to use it.

Sophie
We'll also give you a useful tip about time expressions.

Finn
And there'll be a quiz to practice what we've studied...

Sophie
And we'll even get to find out a bit of personal information about Finn!

Finn
Oh no, not too personal I hope!

Sophie
Let's wait and see shall we? Now - the word like.

Finn
Like. It's an interesting word in English, because when it comes to grammar, we can use it as a verb and we can also use like as a preposition.

Sophie
So let's start with like as a verb. And here's Neil with our first example:

Neil
James likes playing football.

Finn
Thank you Neil. So we have the subject 'James', the verb likes, and the object playing football. Let's hear it again – this time, Neil, as a question.

Neil
Does James like playing football?

Sophie
This question is made with does plus the subject, plus the base form of the verb like.

Finn
And the verb like is asking about preference – things you enjoy.

Sophie
Yes exactly. For example, I can find out about Finn's sporting preferences by asking: Do you like playing football? Do you like playing football, Finn?

Finn
I love playing football! But sadly, I'm not very good. Now, the second way we can use like is when we ask for a description, like this:

Neil
What's your house like?

Sophie
So here, like is a preposition, not a verb, and it goes at the end of the question.

Finn
This time, we don't use do or does. The question is made of what plus the verb to be, plus the subject plus like. What's your house like, Sophie?

Sophie
My house Finn? It's very beautiful actually! Let's have another example:

Neil
What was your weekend like?

Finn
So – thank you Neil – it's what plus to be, plus a subject, plus like, to ask for a description. And as for the answer – remember to use adjectives in your descriptions. What was your weekend like, Sophie?

Sophie
It was lovely, thank you Finn. Very relaxing! I had coffee with friends, and then we went for a long walk! What was your weekend like? 

Finn
It was very very busy. I spent the whole weekend tidying my flat.

Sophie
You poor thing! Now, you can also use like to ask someone to describe a person. Finn, what's your dad like? 

Finn
My Dad, my Dad's great. He's very clever.

Sophie
Clever, eh?

Finn
Yep. And he's tall... and he's a little bit bald. And he likes writing, too!

IDENT
You're listening to bbclearningenglish.com.

Sophie
And in this programme we're finding out a bit about Finn...

Finn
And we're talking about using like in two different ways.

Sophie
We can use like as a verb to show preference, for example: 'My mother likes Italian food' or 'Does your father like reading?'

Finn
And we can use like as a preposition with the verb to be to ask for descriptions, starting with what and ending with like.

Sophie
Finn, what's your girlfriend like?

Finn
A good example but I think that's enough personal questions for one programme! It's time for a quiz. I'm going to ask three questions. For each question, first: can you decide whether I'm asking for preference or for a description. Then - answer the question! Here's the first one: Do you like Chinese food?

Sophie
Right, well the question starts with does, and like isn't at the end, so you're asking for preference. Actually, I really like Chinese food.

Finn
Me too! Now, the next one. What's the new shopping centre like?

Sophie
This question starts with what, ends in like, and there's no do, does or did, so you're asking for a description. The new shopping centre is usually very busy!

Finn
Is it indeed! Now, here's the last question. What movies do you like?

Sophie
This is an interesting one: the question starts with what, and ends with like, but it has do, so like is a verb, and you're asking for preference. What movies do I like? I like comedies.

Finn
Me too. Well done if you got those right.

Sophie
So, that's like as a verb to talk about preference, and like as a preposition to ask for a description. Remember to use do or does for preference and to be for a description.

Finn
Now, there's lots more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Do join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.

All
Bye.

Download

You can download 6 Minute Grammar from our Unit 3 downloads page or from our 6 Minute Grammar podcast page. (size 9MB)

 

End of Session 2

That's the end of this session. We hope you've learned something about how to use like. In the next session we join Emma on the streets of London as she asks people about their hometowns.

Session Grammar

  • Like (as verb)

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

    Like (as preposition)

    We use like as a preposition in this set phrase:

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

Session Vocabulary