"going out" or "to go out"

Is there any difference between “I like to go out with my friends” and “I like going out with my friends”?

Hi ladybeatrice,

Welcome to the site. There is very little difference between these two:

There are several verbs that are followed by an infinitive or a gerund (ing form) of which like is one. The only difference (and it’s very slight) I could suggest is that the infinitive is more precise and the gerund more general. Look at these:

I like drinking wine.

I like to drink wine on a Saturday evening with friends.


And there are a few cases where the meaning is quite different, as in:

[i]I can’t remember hanging up the car keys.
I can’t remember to hang up the car keys.

I stopped dancing at midnight.
I stopped to dance at midnight[/i].


I find this a bit confusing:

I think I must remember to hang up my keys is a happier construction.

I stopped to dance is surely something different because it really means: I stopped in order to dance.



Not really. The difference between remember to do and remember doing remains the same. I merely pointed out that can’t remember to sounds rather awkward.


Dear Amy

If you are still on line, could you please tell me what Alan finds confusing about the keys; I simply could not get it :shock: Please :!:

Ever yours


Hi Tom

As I understand the discussion, the question is whether “remember to do” and “remember doing” are different or not. And then further, more specifically, whether the sentence "I can’t remember to hang up the car keys." is an awkward (unnatural) sentence or not.

Maybe if we added the word “ever” to that sentence, it might be more natural (I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, though.):
I can’t ever remember to hang up the car keys.
That sentence means "I always forget to hang up the car keys (all the time)."

On the other hand, this sentence has a different meaning:
I can’t remember hanging up the car keys.

This sentence means that I’m not sure whether I hung up the car keys or not. It only refers to one specific past time (Did I or did I not hang up the keys?). It’s possible that I hung up the car keys, but because I can’t specifically remember, I’m not sure.

Does that clarify things any?


Yes, a great deal !:smiley:

Thanks a lot!