- prep: laɪk
- verb: laɪk // laɪks (3rd pers. pres.) // laɪkt (past)
The most common translation of "like" is comme.
It can express a manner. Its role in similes is also notorious ("A simile is a metaphor using like or as")
- If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. (fierce winds March 1 -> a gentle breeze March 31)
- "Someone like you", (Adèle) / "Like a hurricane", (Neil Young)
- "The ice was here, the ice was there, / The ice was all around: / It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, / Like noises in a swound" (Coleridge, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner")
- "The Albatross fell off, and sank / like lead into the sea" (Coleridge, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner")
- "like a leaf clings to a tree, oh my darling cling to me..." (two extraordinary voices: David Bowie, Nina Simone, "Wild is the Wind", lyrics)
NB: comme is translated as as when it means "in the role of" / en tant que:
- comme contribuable: As a taxpayer
- comme tout contribuable, je... = Like any taxpayer, I...
Sense verbs (verbs of perception)
When used with a sense verb (taste, smell, look, sound, feel) the meaning of the two words together (looks like) is often best translated more simply in French as on dirait qu(e):
- look(s) like: avoir l'air de, on dirait qu'il
- (It) looks like rain. (On dirait qu'il va pleuvoir)
- That looks like everything. (On dirait que c'est tout.)
- He/It doesn't look like he's in much pain. (Il n'a pas l'air de souffrir trop.)
- She/It looks like she's getting better. (Elle a l'air d'aller mieux.)
- It feels like silk but maybe it's synthetic.
- I feel like hell this morning.
- I felt like working late last night.
- Do frog legs taste more like chicken or more like beef?
- That's a very delicate whiskey, it tastes like lapsang suchong.
- It smells like onions in here.
- The rat must have thought it smelled like a trap, because it wouldn't eat the cheese.
- It's smelling a bit like spring, at last.
- You sound like you're not feeling very well.
- It sounds like you've done all you can.
- It seems like it's working
- They seem like nice people.
aimer (bien) --> like
aimer (d'amour) --> love
love, like like is a state verb. It is generally considered incompatible with the grammatical structure be + ing. However, social networks -- in particular facebook -- have helped to create an event reading of "like": "I liked all of his photos this afternoon, each and every one of them!"
syntax: Verb + (direct) object
2 arguments (subject + predicate), "transitive"
- Infinitivals: They like to read her tweets. (whenever it happens that she tweets)
- Participials: They like reading her tweets. (while they're reading them, or more generally)
- Other NPs: She likes her rabbit. She doesn't like cats.
- Inanimate subject implies personification:
- My pet rock likes sleeping up there on the shelf.
- Trouble seems to like coming to this part of town.
like is regular in both the present and past tense.
It takes -s [s] (3rd pers. sing.), and -d [t]
Young people tend to overuse like as a discourse marker, in some cases it can mark a change of speaker/perspective, in others it seems to be used as a filler while a person is thinking of what they want to say, but more generally it marks a point at which eye-contact is frequent, the speaker warns the listener to conjure up a paradigm similar to what will be said next, attention! cognitive work ahead. It is not considered good usage, though it has become a characteristic of both US English and like, you know, globisch. :D
- "She was all like "I'm not doing it." and stuff until I told her there was blueberry pie in the oven."
- I was, like, you know, WTF.
The comparative suffix -like
Forms an adjective from a noun
Compare to -ly: cowardly
The associative prefix like-
- likewise (de même, également)
- likely (vraisemblable) peut être utilisé de façon ironique: "That's a likely story."
- unlikely (invraisemblable)