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Home Grammar Speaking Usage "Would you like" VS "Do you like": What's the Difference?

April 29, 2013

"Would you like" VS "Do you like": What's the Difference?

Would you like VS Do you like: What's the Difference?
nglish learners often confuse and misuse the phrase "Would you like" and "Do you like". They don't know the difference between these two phrases. Most of them think that they have similar meaning and that the word "like" in "would like" is used to ask about preference or choice in general. ESL learners should note that the phrase "Would you like" does not mean the same as "Do you like".

In this post, we are going to learn how to use "Would you like" and "Do you like" correctly.

Would you like ...?Do you like ...?
We use "Would you like ...?"
  • to offer things.
  • to invite somebody.
We use "Do you like ...?" to ask about preference.
"I'd like (I would like) ...." is a polite way to say "I want ...."."I like ...." is similar in meaning to "I think it's nice to ....", to talk about preference in general.
  1. Using "Would you like" to offer things

    • "Would you like some coffee?" ~ "No, thank you."
    • "Would you like an orange?" ~ "Yes, please."
    • "What would you like, tea or coffee?" ~ "Tea, please."
  2. Using "Would you like" to invite somebody.

    • "Would you like to go for a walk?" ~ "Why not? Let's."
    • "Would you like to come for dinner tomorrow night?" ~ "Yes. I'd love to."
    • "What would you like to do this weekend?" ~ "I think I'll go to the beach with my friends."
  3. Using "I'd like" as a polite way to say "I want".

    • "I'm hungry. I'd like something to eat."
    • "I'd like some information about hotels, please."
    • "I'd like to see his performance at the hall this evening."
  4. Comparing "would like" and "like".

    • "Would you like some apples (Do you want some apples)?" ~ "Yes, please."
    • "Do you like apples (Do you think apples are nice)?" ~ "Yes, I do. It's my favorite fruit."
    • "Would you like to go for a picnic this weekend (Do you want to go for a picnic this weekend)?" ~ "Yes, I'd love to."
    • "Do you like going for a picnic?" (in general) ~ "Not really. I seldom go for a picnic."
    • "I'd like an orange, please. (Can I have an orange?)"
    • "I like oranges." (in general)
    • What would you like to do next weekend? (What do you want to do next weekend?)
      I'm going to stay at home.
    • "What do you like to do at weekends?" ~ "I like doing some DIY's."

Exercise 1: Use "Would you like ...?", "I'd like ...." or "Do you like ...?"

You are offering your friend a lift. You say: ....
Answer: "Would you like a lift?"
  1. You want to go to the museum on Sunday morning. Perhaps your friend will go with you.
    You say: ....
  2. You want to go dining out this evening. Perhaps your friend want to go too.
    You say: ....
  3. You ask your friend whether he/she likes action movies.
    You say: ....
  4. You are offering your friend something to drink.
    You say: ....
  5. You ask your friend whether he/she likes reading.
    You say: ....
  6. You ask your friend whether she likes dancing.
    You say: ....
  7. You want to dance. You offer your friend to dance with you.
    You say: ....
  8. You work at a travel agent. You ask a customer politely whether he/she wants to pay by credit card or cash.
    You say: ....
  9. You want to know whether your friend likes his/her present job.
    You say: ....
  10. You are trying on a shirt but it's too small. You want a bigger size.
    You say: ....

Exercise 2: Which is right?

  1. "Do you like / Would you like some bread?" ~ "Yes, please."
  2. "Do you like/Would you like fishing?" ~ "Yes, very much. I usually go fishing in weekends."
  3. "Do you like/Would you like to leave a message?" ~ "No, thanks. I'll call back after lunch."
  4. "What do you like/would you like?" ~ "Chicken fried rice and orange juice, please."
  5. "What do you like/would you like to have for lunch?" ~ "Some rice, fish and vegetables."
  6. "What color do you like/would you like?" ~ "Blue is my favorite."
  7. "Do you like/Would you like tea or coffee?" ~ "Coffee, please."
  8. "How do you like/would you like your coffee?" ~ "With cream and sugar, please."
  9. "I like/would like to reserve a room, please." ~ "When is that for, Sir?"
  10. "Do you like/Would you like living in a big city?" ~ "No. I prefer living in a quiet place."
Murphy Raymond, Essential Grammar in Use, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, 1998


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