"like doing" vs. "like to do"



I like to play tennis on Tuesdays.

I like playing tennis on Tuesdays.

Having taken into account the following, would you please throw a light on what is the difference between the sentences above?

This question was inspired by a comment left on a similar question I asked here, where a user said:

Like playing vs. like to play is the question of gerund vs. infinitive. Both of those are correct, but I don't think there's a general rule.

So, is there some general rule? Or was the comment correct?


Posted 2014-12-27T02:45:05.930

Reputation: 5 551

Question was closed 2014-12-27T10:47:20.190


Related (on ELU): When should a verb be followed by a gerund instead of an infinitive? (See the "Verbs Followed by Either Gerund or Infinitive" heading, about halfway down.)

– Scott – 2014-12-27T05:07:12.577



You can say "I like to do something or I like doing something; it means the same. But when you talk about your habbies or interests, you usually use the -ing form of the verb after "like".

So it's more idiomatic if you say "I like playing tennis on Tuesdays".


Posted 2014-12-27T02:45:05.930

Reputation: 26 261

This is not at all correct. They're both equally idiomatic. You might have a personal or dialect preference for one or the other, but it could be the opposite with another person or another dialect. – Andrew – 2018-10-09T13:52:30.150

@Andrew, You are right. I have edited my answer. Thanks. – Khan – 2018-10-10T01:46:21.433


They're both exactly the same. They're both grammatically correct, and they both have the same meaning. There's not even a difference in emphasis! Maybe the version with the infinitive sounds slightly more formal.

Ben Kovitz

Posted 2014-12-27T02:45:05.930

Reputation: 25 752

So, is the following odd? I like to play tennis on Tuesdays. – nima – 2014-12-28T17:01:43.103

@nima No, that's not odd. It's perfectly normal. – Ben Kovitz – 2014-12-28T17:11:20.657