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  ENGLISH GRAMMAR for ESL learners  


Like can be used
  • as verb,  to talk about tastes
  • as a preposition, with look and be to talk about appearance and ask for descriptions.

Verb: to like
  • The verb to like is used to talk about tastes, what we enjoy or prefer.

    • What sport does Peter like? He likes tennis.
    • What's your favourite food? I like Italian food.

Preposition: 'like' + verb 'look'
  • Look like is used to ask for and give an opinion about appearance.

    • What does Peter look like?
      He's tall, with dark hair, and he wears glasses.

Preposition: 'like' + verb 'be'
  • Be like is used to ask for and give a general description.

    • What is Julie like?
      She is reliable, pleasant and helpful. She is like a friend.

To sum up:
  ♦ We use like to talk about tastes and preferences.
  ♦ We use look like to describe physical appearance.
  ♦ We use be like to describe a person's character.  
What does Alex like?
(=what are his preferences).
Alex likes football.  He also likes Chinese food ...
and of course he likes his car!
What does Alex look like?
(=describe his appearance).
He is tall and handsome, and he dresses well.
He's a big guy.  He looks like a rugbyman.
Who does Alex look like?
 (=his similarity with another person).
He looks like his father really, but in some ways he also looks like George Clooney.
What is Alex like?
(=describe his personality).
He is nice and friendly and always willing to help -
a great friend to have.

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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