Difference Between Love and Like

By: | Updated: Jul-6, 2021
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There are many different types of emotions that people feel, but the two most common are love and like. Both of these emotions are used to describe a person’s feelings toward another person, but there are some differences between them. For example, love is used to describe a deep and intense feeling of affection, while like is used to describe a more casual feeling of fondness. Also, love is a stronger emotion than like. So what are the other differences between love and like?

The article will focus on the love and like, the difference between love and like, and how they are used in English.

Summary Table:

Love Like
 Is a feeling of deep affection for someone or something  Is more of an attitude of approval
Is used as a noun, verb, and adjective Is used as a preposition, conjunction, and verb


Difference Between Love and Like

What Is Love?

Love is a feeling of strong attraction toward a person. Love can be used as a noun or as a verb. As a noun, it is an emotion and also the name of the person you love. As a verb, it means to have an emotion of strong attraction toward someone. It can also mean to like someone very much. You can use the word love to talk about romantic love or about friendship or family love.

What Is Like?

Like can be used as both a preposition and as a conjunction. As a preposition, it means to have some quality that another person has, or to be similar to something else. It can also mean similar in taste or appearance, but not necessarily exactly the same. For example: “I like her.” (I am attracted to her.) “This looks like him.” (This looks similar to him.) “This tastes like chicken.” (This tastes similar to chicken.) As a conjunction, it means in the same way that something else is done or occurs; for example: “She talks like her mother.” (She talks in the same way that her mother does.) The word like cannot be used as an adjective.

How Are Love and Like Used in English?

In English, love is used to talk about romantic love or about friendship or family love. Like is used to talk about similarity. It can also be used to talk about how you feel about something, but not the emotion of attraction. You can use the word like to talk about liking something very much, but not as a verb for having an emotion of attraction toward someone.

“I love him.” (I am attracted to him.) “She likes her job.” (She is happy with her job.) “I like Chinese food.” (I like Chinese food very much.) “He loves me.” (He is attracted to me.) “She is like them.” (She finds them similar in some way.) “He likes golfing.” (He enjoys golfing very much.)

Love Vs. Like:

There are many differences between love and like. Some of them are:

1. The meaning

Love and like are not opposites. They are different words that describe two different feelings or attitudes. Love is a feeling of deep affection for someone or something. Like is more of an attitude of approval.

2. The focus

Love is usually focused on the person, while like is focused on an object or idea.

3. The feeling

Love is a strong feeling, while like is a weak feeling. Love can be compared to other strong feelings such as hate, jealousy, or admiration. Like is more of an emotion that does not compare to other emotions in intensity.

4. The time

Love is often felt over a long period of time, while like is often felt over a short period of time.

5. The parts of speech

Parts of speech are a classification of words. Love is used as a noun, verb, and adjective. Like is used as a preposition, conjunction, and verb.

6. The emphasis

Love is usually the main word or theme in a sentence, while like is usually an auxiliary word.

7. The use in literature

Love as a theme is often used in literature. For example, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. On the other hand, in literature, like is usually used to compare two things. It is usually used in quotations such as “like the teacher, like the pupil”.

8. The social and personal use

Love is often used in personal relationships, while like is often used in social situations.

9. The physical expression

Love is often expressed through physical contact, while like is not expressed through physical contact.

10. Gerunds

Gerunds are a type of verb that ends in -ing. Love usually can be used as a gerund, while like is not used in the form of to+infinitives. For example, it’s not usually “I like singing”, but “I love to sing”. However, love can be used as a gerund when it is used as a noun. For example, “Loving you is the only thing that makes me happy”.

11. The relation to prepositions

Love is often used with words such as “for”, “with”, and “from”. For example, “I love you for being so kind”. Like is not usually used with these words. However, it can be used with “to”. For example, “I like to read” or “I like to be with you”.

12. The phonetic pronunciation

Phonetics is the study of speech sounds. Phoneme is a basic unit of speech sounds. Love and like are both phonemes, but they are not the same phoneme. Love is a diphthong, while like is a monophthong. The phonetic pronunciation of love is [luːv], while the phonetic pronunciation of like is [laɪk].

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