Ask Difference

Enjoy vs. Like — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 28, 2023
"Enjoy" implies taking pleasure in an activity or thing, while "like" indicates a favorable opinion or preference for it. Both relate to positive feelings, but "enjoy" suggests a deeper, more immersive experience.
Enjoy vs. Like

Difference Between Enjoy and Like

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Key Differences

In the realm of emotions and preferences, the terms "enjoy" and "like" frequently emerge. Though they both convey positive feelings, the depth and context of their usage can vary. To "enjoy" something typically means to take delight or pleasure in it, often in a more involved manner.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023
On the other hand, "like" is a broader term indicating a favorable opinion or preference for something or someone. For instance, one might "like" a particular genre of music but "enjoy" a specific song or concert from that genre, signifying a more active engagement or pleasure.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023
Another distinction arises when considering the temporal aspect of these terms. While one can "like" something based on a general, ongoing preference, "enjoy" often suggests a current or recent experience. For example, someone might "like" reading but "enjoyed" a book they just finished.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023
The degree of emotion can also be a differentiating factor. "Enjoy" frequently evokes a stronger emotional response, while "like" can be more passive. It's possible to "like" a movie because it's well-made, but to "enjoy" it implies being entertained or emotionally moved by it.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023
Conclusively, while both terms highlight positive sentiments, "enjoy" leans towards an immersive and pleasurable experience, and "like" indicates a broader, often less intense, preference or approval.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

To take delight or pleasure in
To have a favorable opinion or preference
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Depth of Emotion

Often suggests a deeper, more immersive experience
Can be a general or passive preference
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Temporality

Implies a current or recent experience
Indicates an ongoing or general preference
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Degree of Engagement

Active pleasure or delight
Can be a more passive appreciation
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Usage Context

Specific activities or moments
Broader preferences or approvals
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Compare with Definitions

Enjoy

To benefit from a particular situation.
She enjoys a good reputation in the industry.
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Like

Such as; for example
The cautionary vision of works like Animal Farm and 1984
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Enjoy

To have a particular positive experience.
Did you enjoy the concert?
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Like

(of a person or thing) having similar qualities or characteristics to another person or thing
I responded in like manner
The grouping of children of like ability together
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Enjoy

To have the use or benefit of.
He enjoys good health.
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Like

One similar to or like another. Used with the
Was subject to coughs, asthma, and the like.
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Enjoy

(transitive) To have the use or benefit of something.
I plan to go travelling while I still enjoy good health.
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Like

Similar.
My partner and I have like minds.
The two cats were as like as though they had come from the same litter.
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Enjoy

To be satisfied or receive pleasure.
I enjoyed a lot.
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Like

To find pleasant or attractive.
I like chocolate ice cream.
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Enjoy

To take pleasure in something.
I enjoy listening to classical music.
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Like

To feel affection for.
He likes his new colleague.
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Enjoy

To experience with joy.
They enjoyed their vacation in Hawaii.
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Like

To be inclined or disposed in a certain way.
I would like to visit Paris someday.
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Enjoy

To receive pleasure or satisfaction from.
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Like

In English, the word like has a very flexible range of uses, ranging from conventional to non-standard. It can be used as a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, preposition, particle, conjunction, hedge, filler, and quotative.
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Enjoy

To have the use or benefit of
Enjoys good health.
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Like

Having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to
She looked nothing like Audrey Hepburn
He used to have a car like mine
They were like brothers
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Enjoy

To have a pleasurable or satisfactory time.
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Like

Used to draw attention to the nature of an action or event
Why are you talking about me like that?
I apologize for coming over unannounced like this
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Enjoy

(transitive) To receive pleasure or satisfaction from something.
Enjoy your holidays!
I enjoy dancing.
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Like

In the same way that; as
People who change countries like they change clothes
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Enjoy

(transitive) To have sexual intercourse with.
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Like

As though; as if
I felt like I'd been kicked by a camel
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Enjoy

To take pleasure or satisfaction in the possession or experience of; to feel or perceive with pleasure; to be delighted with; as, to enjoy the dainties of a feast; to enjoy conversation.
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Like

Used with reference to a person or thing of the same kind as another
The quotations could be arranged to put like with like
I know him—him and his like
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Enjoy

To have, possess, and use with satisfaction; to occupy or have the benefit of, as a good or profitable thing, or as something desirable; as, to enjoy a free constitution and religious liberty.
That the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers.
To enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
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Like

The things one likes or prefers
A wide variety of likes, dislikes, tastes, and income levels
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Enjoy

To have sexual intercourse with.
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Like

Used in speech as a meaningless filler or to signify the speaker's uncertainty about an expression just used
There was this funny smell—sort of dusty like
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Enjoy

To take satisfaction; to live in happiness.
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Like

Used to convey a person's reported attitude or feelings in the form of direct speech (whether or not representing an actual quotation)
So she comes into the room and she's like ‘Where is everybody?’
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Enjoy

Derive or receive pleasure from; get enjoyment from; take pleasure in;
She relished her fame and basked in her glory
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Like

In the manner of
Like as a ship with dreadful storm long tossed
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Enjoy

Have benefit from;
Enjoy privileges
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Like

Find agreeable, enjoyable, or satisfactory
People who don't like reading books
All his classmates liked him
I like to be the centre of attention
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Enjoy

Get pleasure from;
I love cooking
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Like

Wish for; want
I'd like to hire a car
Would you like a cup of coffee?
I'd like you to stay
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Enjoy

Have for one's benefit;
The industry enjoyed a boom
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Like

To find pleasant or attractive; enjoy
Do you like ice cream? I like your style.
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Enjoy

Take delight in;
He delights in his granddaughter
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Like

To want to have
I would like some coffee.
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Like

To prefer
How would you like your coffee—with sugar or without?.
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Like

To feel about; regard
How do you like these new theater seats?.
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Like

To believe or predict that (a certain competitor) will win a contest
Which team do you like in tonight's game?.
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Like

To perform well under (a given condition) or using (a given feature)
This car does not like cold weather. The engine does not like enriched fuel.
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Like

(Archaic) To be pleasing to.
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Like

To have an inclination or a preference
If you like, we can meet you there.
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Like

(Scots) To be pleased.
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Like

Something that is liked; a preference
Made a list of his likes and dislikes.
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Like

Often likes(Informal) An equivalent or similar person or thing; an equal or match
I've never seen the likes of this before. We'll never see his like again.
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Like

Possessing the characteristics of; resembling closely; similar to
Your house is like mine.
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Like

In the typical manner of
It's not like you to take offense.
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Like

In the same way as
Lived like royalty.
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Like

Inclined or disposed to
Felt like running away.
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Like

As if the probability exists for
Looks like a bad year for farmers.
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Like

Such as; for example
Saved things like old newspapers and pieces of string.
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Like

Possessing the same or almost the same characteristics; similar
On this and like occasions.
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Like

In the manner of being; as if. Used as an intensifier of action
Worked like hell.
Ran like crazy.
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Like

(Informal) Probably; likely
Like as not she'll change her mind.
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Like

Nearly; approximately
The price is more like 1,000 dollars.
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Like

(Nonstandard) Used to provide emphasis or to focus attention on something
Let's like talk about this for a minute. It's like so crowded you can't move.
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Like

In the same way that; as
To dance like she does requires great discipline.
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Like

As if
It looks like we'll finish on time.
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Like

To enjoy, be pleased by; favor; be in favor of.
I like hamburgers.
I like skiing in winter.
I like the Seattle Mariners this season.
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Like

To please.
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Like

(obsolete) To derive pleasure of, by or with someone or something.
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Like

To prefer and maintain (an action) as a regular habit or activity.
I like to go to the dentist every six months.
She likes to keep herself physically fit.
We like to keep one around the office just in case.
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Like

(obsolete) To have an appearance or expression; to look; to seem to be (in a specified condition).
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Like

(archaic) To come near; to avoid with difficulty; to escape narrowly.
He liked to have been too late.
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Like

To find attractive; to prefer the company of; to have mild romantic feelings for.
I really like Sandra but don't know how to tell her.
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Like

(obsolete) To liken; to compare.
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Like

To show support for, or approval of, something posted on the Internet by marking it with a vote.
I liked my friend's last status on Facebook.
I can't stand Bloggs' tomato ketchup, but I liked it on Facebook so I could enter a competition.
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Like

(with 'would' and in certain other phrases) To want, desire. See also would like.
Would you like a cigarette?
We could go to the museum if you like.
I don't like to disturb him when he's working.
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Like

To accept as an input.
We were frustrated that our seeming innocent choice for a team name was rejected by the censor. Apparently somewhere in the name is a word that the censor doesn’t like.
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Like

To be likely.
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Like

Something that a person likes (prefers).
Tell me your likes and dislikes.
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Like

(internet) An individual vote showing support for, approval of, or enjoyment of, something posted on the Internet.
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Like

(sometimes as the likes of) Someone similar to a given person, or something similar to a given object; a comparative; a type; a sort.
There were bowls full of sweets, chocolates and the like.
It was something the likes of which I had never seen before.
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Like

(golf) The stroke that equalizes the number of strokes played by the opposing player or side.
To play the like
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Like

Likely; probable.
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Like

Inclined (to), prone (to).
He seems like to run from any semblance of hard work.
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Like

Likely.
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Like

In a like or similar manner.
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Like

(colloquial) As, the way.
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Like

As if; as though.
It looks like you've finished the project.
It seemed like you didn't care.
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Like

Similar to, reminiscent of
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Like

Typical of
It would be just like Achilles to be sulking in his tent.
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Like

Approximating
Popcorn costs something like $10 dollars at the movies.
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Like

In the manner of, similarly to
He doesn't act like a president.
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Like

Such as
It's for websites like Wikipedia.
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Like

As if there would be
It looks like a hot summer in Europe.
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Like

Used to ask for a description or opinion of someone or something
I hear she has a new boyfriend. What's he like?
What's the weather like in Ürümqi today?
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Like

Having the same, or nearly the same, appearance, qualities, or characteristics; resembling; similar to; similar; alike; - often with in and the particulars of the resemblance; as, they are like each other in features, complexion, and many traits of character.
'T is as like youAs cherry is to cherry.
Like master, like man.
He giveth snow like wool; he scattereth the hoar-frost like ashes.
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Like

Equal, or nearly equal; as, fields of like extent.
More clergymen were impoverished by the late war than ever in the like space before.
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Like

Having probability; affording probability; probable; likely.
But it is like the jolly world about us will scoff at the paradox of these practices.
Many were not easy to be governed, nor like to conform themselves to strict rules.
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Like

Inclined toward; disposed to; as, to feel like taking a walk.
Had like to have been my utter overthrow.
Ramona had like to have said the literal truth, . . . but recollected herself in time.
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Like

That which is equal or similar to another; the counterpart; an exact resemblance; a copy.
He was a man, take him for all in all,I shall not look upon his like again.
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Like

A liking; a preference; inclination; - usually in pl.; as, we all have likes and dislikes.
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Like

The stroke which equalizes the number of strokes played by the opposing player or side; as, to play the like.
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Like

In a manner like that of; in a manner similar to; as, do not act like him.
He maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.
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Like

In a like or similar manner.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
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Like

Likely; probably.
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Like

To suit; to please; to be agreeable to.
Cornwall him liked best, therefore he chose there.
I willingly confess that it likes me much better when I find virtue in a fair lodging than when I am bound to seek it in an ill-favored creature.
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Like

To be pleased with in a moderate degree; to approve; to take satisfaction in; to enjoy.
He proceeded from looking to liking, and from liking to loving.
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Like

To liken; to compare.
Like me to the peasant boys of France.
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Like

To be pleased; to choose.
He may either go or stay, as he best likes.
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Like

To have an appearance or expression; to look; to seem to be (in a specified condition).
You like well, and bear your years very well.
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Like

Prefer or wish to do something;
Do you care to try this dish?
Would you like to come along to the movies?
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Like

Find enjoyable or agreeable;
I like jogging
She likes to read Russian novels
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Like

Be fond of;
I like my nephews
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Like

Feel about or towards; consider, evaluate, or regard;
How did you like the President's speech last night?
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Like

Want to have;
I'd like a beer now!
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Like

Resembling or similar; having the same or some of the same characteristics; often used in combination;
Suits of like design
A limited circle of like minds
Members of the cat family have like dispositions
As like as two peas in a pod
Doglike devotion
A dreamlike quality
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Like

Equal in amount or value;
Like amounts
Equivalent amounts
The same amount
Gave one six blows and the other a like number
An equal number
The same number
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Like

Having the same or similar characteristics;
All politicians are alike
They looked utterly alike
Friends are generaly alike in background and taste
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Like

Conforming in every respect;
Boxes with corresponding dimensions
The like period of the preceding year
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Like

To have a preference for.
She likes to read before bed.
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Like

To be similar to.
The weather today is like yesterday's.
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Common Curiosities

Is "enjoy" always tied to present experiences?

Often, but not always. One can also refer to past pleasures, as in "I enjoyed that movie last week."
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

How can I differentiate between the two in conversation?

Use "enjoy" when referring to a specific pleasurable experience and "like" for general preferences or approvals.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Can "like" and "enjoy" be used interchangeably?

Sometimes, but "enjoy" often suggests a deeper, more immersive pleasure.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Is it possible to "enjoy" a task but not "like" it?

Yes, one might enjoy the challenge or outcome of a task but not have a general preference for it.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Can you "like" something without "enjoying" it?

Yes, you can appreciate or approve of something without actively taking pleasure in it.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Are there contexts where "like" is more appropriate than "enjoy"?

Yes, when expressing general preferences, approvals, or similarities, "like" is often more fitting.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Is "enjoy" more intense than "like"?

Typically, yes. "Enjoy" often conveys a stronger, more immersive emotion.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Can "like" refer to similarity?

Yes, "like" can also mean resembling something or someone.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Can you "enjoy" something you don't "like"?

It's uncommon, but possible in contexts where something is an acquired taste or provides a different kind of pleasure.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Can animals "like" or "enjoy" things?

Yes, animals can display preferences (like) and take pleasure in certain activities or situations (enjoy).
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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