Like + gerund or infinitive

The following sentence:

I’ve never really liked people telling me what to do and it felt like that at university.

is part of an OUP cloze exercise, where the word telling goes in the blank.

I know that the verb like can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive, so I guessed that because never liked means dislike it must be followed by a gerund. Is that true? If not, what could be the explanation?

Comments

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭

    It's not just the NEGATIVe meaning. It's equally unacceptable to say
    I've always liked people to tell me what to do

    The problem is that
    the SUBJECT of like
    I
    is different from
    the SUBJECT of to tell
    people.

    This contrasts with sentences such
    People like telling me what to do
    People like to tell me what to do

    In these there is no explicit grammatical SUBJECT of to do, but the DOER, the implicit SUBJECT, is the same as the SUBJECT of like — namely people.

    There is a class of like sentences with different subjects that uses the to-INFINITIVE. Mostly, these involve to be. For example
    I like people to be honest with me.
    I like my steaks to be well done.

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