Difference Between Like and Would Like

If someone is unsure about the difference between like and would like, that’s quite natural.

Like and Would Like are exceptionally similar English words that can be used to express a preference or what you hope for, however, Like and Would Like are extraordinarily different too.

Like vs Would Like

The main difference between Like and Would Like is that Like can be a verb to state an opinion about a subject matter, as well as a noun that can be used to express a preference, whereas, Would like is a verb, which means to want, desire or hope for something.

Like and Would Like

Like when a verb is well-known to provide pleasure or satisfaction. The expression to be liked by is also used to indicate what persons, things, or characteristics a person prefers.

For instance, she likes everyone in her class, I don’t like the color green, and I like your idea.

Would like is a verb, which means to want or desire something. However, when used as a verb, ‘Would Like’ indicates a desire for something soon.

For instance, It would be nice if you could join us for dinner tomorrow night, I would like to have a new house by next summer, and Would you like to meet tomorrow?

Comparison Table Between Like and Would Like

Parameters of ComparisonLike Would Like
DefinitionLike can be used to express a preference. Would like can be used to talk about what someone wants, or what they hope for.
VerbWhen used as a verb, like means to give pleasure or satisfaction. When used as a verb, would like indicates a desire for something shortly.
Auxiliary VerbThe verb Like is generally used as an auxiliary verb in questions. The verb Would Like is not used as an auxiliary verb in questions.
Negativity Like, can be used as an auxiliary verb in negative sentences. Would Like, cannot be used as an auxiliary verb in negative sentences.
IllustrationHe likes his teacher, I like my pizza spicy, and what do you like about that? That would be fun. You should go, would you like some help? and would you like to have dinner with me tonight?

What is Like?

The verb Like is generally used as an auxiliary verb in questions to mean “Are you willing to do climbing?” instead of asking if someone likes something. In these instances, the subject of the question is understood, and it is unnecessary to include it.

Moreover, Like can also be used as an auxiliary verb in negative sentences, meaning “to be unwilling to do climbing,” with no subject or object.

  • I like your dress.
  • He likes his best friend.
  • What do you like the most about that?
  • Would you like to go to the beach?
  • She likes almost everyone in her section.
  • I don’t like the color maroon.
  • I’m not sure about the book. I don’t like it so far.
  • I like my coffee black.

These illustrations show the use of Like as a verb, where it states likes for things and opinions about something. In this instance, though, if you said, “I like his singing voice,” it wouldn’t mean want or desire.

Instead, it would be talking about an opinion or a preference, and in this case, the speaker likes his singing. However, it shows that the speaker likes the person singing and not their actual voice.

What is Would Like?

Would Like often comes from the phrase would you like and is usually asked politely before offering a gift or service, whereas Would Like is a verb, which means to want, desire something, or something closer to what a person has. For instance:

  • Would you like to watch a movie with me tonight?
  • I would like to have a new car by next summer.
  • That would be fun. You should go.
  • I would like to hear him sing live on Singer‘s Live.
  • I would like to keep it as a surprise.

These illustrations are where Would Like is used as a verb and states that the person in question would like to hear or do something happen.

Moreover, if someone were to say, “Would you like some help?” they are asking if the person wants them to help them set up something. If a person were then to respond with “I would like that,” they are confirming that they want help setting up.

The use of would you like? Or would you like to help? Is preferred in formal writing, but Would Like or I Would Like to help is often found in spoken or informal usage.

Main Differences Between Like and Would Like

  1. The like can be used to express a preference, whereas, Would like can be used to talk about what someone wants or what they hope for.
  2. When used as a verb, like means to give pleasure or satisfaction, whereas, when used as a verb, would like indicates a desire for something shortly.
  3. The verb Like is generally used as an auxiliary verb in questions, whereas the verb Would Like is not used as an auxiliary verb in questions.
  4. Like, can be used as an auxiliary verb in negative sentences, whereas, Would Like, cannot be used as an auxiliary verb in negative sentences.
  5. He likes his teacher. I like my pizza spicy, and what do you like about that? , whereas, that would be fun. You should go, would you like some help? and would you like to have dinner with me tonight?
Difference Between Like and Would Like

Conclusion

Many people use Like and Would Like words interchangeably without knowing that they mean something different.

However, when comparing things closely, the difference between the words is really important in events such as Like most often means similar and Would Like means something closer to what you have.

For instance, I like a party with a band and good friends. I would like the same party but without loud music.

Would like is a verb, which means to want or desire something, whereas like can be a verb to state an opinion about a subject matter, as well as a noun.

Would Like comes from the phrase would you like and is usually asked politely before offering a gift or service.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2003.20826.x
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1191/0265659006ct299oa
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02579174
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