A Thought for Thursday

In this week’s Thought for Thursday post we would like to talk about the word ‘like’.

Although this word is currently most ubiquitous as a stand alone phenomena that appears at the bottom of many a social media pages or posts such as this one, today we are going to focus on 4 of its uses within a sentence.

  1. A formal way to say ‘want’ or ‘desire’ (would+like)
  2. To express that we find something agreeable enjoyable or satisfactory (like+gerund or noun)
  3. To connect a verb and a noun and express the idea ‘in the manner of’ (action verb+like+noun).
  4. To express similarity in appearance or characteristics (look/sound/smell/taste+like+noun)

To help you remember these, below is a short poem, courtesy of our neighbour Gregory, who last week composed a tune to accompany his creation and has been singing it very loudly (and slightly out of tune might we add) ever since.

See if you can spot the different ways he’s used ‘like’, as well as the one he hasn’t used but can be found elsewhere in this post.

I do like exploring the streets of Milwaukee*
On the back of my horse** which I ride like a jockey
And be certain my horse doesn’t look like pig
It’s not round and short, it’s majestic and big.

gregory and horse

Portraits in Gregory’s study

*for all of you in Milwaukee reading this and about to run out to the street to see if you can catch a glimpse of Gregory, sorry to shatter your illusions but Gregory has never been to Milwaukee.

**neither does he have a horse.


4 thoughts on “A Thought for Thursday

  1. Dear Gardener
    What is a gerund?
    Thank you for your very coherent explanation about the different use of the word “like”. Gregory’s poem is a great contribution to understanding of this ubiquitous word. I must say, I do like the sound of Gregory( even if a bit out of tune) His lyric is especially inspiring. What an imagination, considering he has never been to Milwaukee.
    Yours forever and a day

    • In reply to your question Rachel, a gerund is a great example of how two seemingly basic commodities come together to make something magnificent and useful.

      It’s a bit like when you get home and are very hungry, yet all you can find to eat is one forgotten egg and a few slices of bread.
      Some might, at this point, give up all hope (aka get a takeaway) but if you combine these two seemingly unglamorous ingredients you get the fantastically appetizing dream dish: a fried egg sandwich!

      The same with gerunds.
      You take a verb, add at the end of it the three lowly letters ‘i’, ‘n’ and ‘g’ and there, in all its glory you have a great shiny new gerund, which is, to finally answer your question, a type of noun.

      Can you spot the gerund in Gregory’s poem?
      And in your own comment?

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