Can one say

a.  I like carefree dancing.

instead of

b. I like to dance in a carefree manner.

?

Can one say

c. I hate careless driving.

instead of

d. I hate to drive carelessly.

?

Doesn't (c) mean I hate 'careless driving' in general, no matter who's doing it?

Many thanks.

Original Post

Hi, Azz,

To me, the infinitive forms a unit with the verb of liking, so in (b) and (d) it is clear that the speaker likes or hates to do those things him/herself.

The gerund preceded by an adjective in (a) and (c) functions as a noun and creates a sense of detachment: the speaker likes or hates those activities, regardless of who carries them out.

However, with other gerunds the speaker's involvement in the action may become more evident, as in:

e. I like open water swimming.
f. I hate open water swimming.

When the gerund reflects the result of an action rather than the action itself, the sense of detachment reappears, as in:

g. I like/hate Peruvian cooking ("cuisine" is more usual but "cooking" is also possible).

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