LIKE verb or preposition?

The word like is very versatile. It can be used as a verb, a preposition, an adjective, and a noun. It’s two main uses are as a verb and as a preposition:


The word LIKE used as a verb, means to enjoy, or to have a preference for something or someone. It is used in the same way as LOVE, but the meaning is not as strong. For example:

  • I like watching T.V. in the evenings.
  • I like my new English teacher, he is easy to understand.
  • My sister likes eating pizza, but she doesn’t like pasta.
  • I like the colour blue more than the colour red.


    1. We don’t use this verb in the continuous form: i.e. I like to read books NOT I am liking to read books. X
    2. We generally follow LIKE with an object: i.e. I like English (or I like IT.)



As a preposition (and as an adjective) it is used to compare things, or to say that something is similar to something else. For example:

  • You look just like your mother with that dress on.
  • It feels like summer, it’s so hot outside.
  • Stop behaving like a child.
  • It’s just like him to be late for an appointment.



This word is often wrongly used as an adverb or a conjunction, and if you wish to speak English correctly you should not use it in either of these two ways. For example:

  • As an adverb: I feel LIKE I’m annoyed. (Here it is completely unnecessary, just delete it).
    Correct example: I feel annoyed.
  • As a conjunction: He looks LIKE he is happy. (Here you should use the words AS IF or AS THOUGH).
    Correct example: He looks as if he is happy.

See more about ways to use the word LIKE here, at Wikipedia.


Be careful not to confuse LIKE with the words I WOULD LIKE…
I WOULD LIKE is simply a polite way of saying I WANT. Examples:

  • Would you like (do you want) some coffee?
  • She says she’d like to be my friend.
  • I would have liked to have bought a new car last year, but I couldn’t afford it.
  • I would like (love) to go to the beach this week-end.


Related content:

The Cambridge Dictionary.