Infinitive/gerund after like (= such as)

 

Q:

Is it grammatically impossible to use the infinitive after the word "like", when its equivalent to "such as"? I know that using the gerund is the traditional recommendation (and it does sound much better); however, what is not clear to me is whether its technically possible (even if highly unlikely) to also use the infinitive.

For example:

Children are better than adults at many things, like having/to have fun, acting/to act spontaneously, etc.


Thanks for any comments!

Gisele
[email protected]
Posted 05 November 2002
A:
Yes, its grammatically impossible to use the infinitive after the word like when like is used as a preposition as in your example sentence.

A preposition is followed by a noun or an object pronoun, or by the noun form of the verb. The noun form of the verb is the gerund. Your sentence is correct as:

Children are better than adults at many things, like having fun, acting spontaneously, etc.

For a related discussion, see the message "Including vs. such as."