The verbs like, love, hate and prefer can be followed by both infinitives and –ing forms. There is little difference of meaning.
- I hate to get up early in the morning.
- I hate getting up early in the morning.
- She doesn’t like to cook.
- She doesn’t like cooking.
- I don’t want to hire a domestic help. I prefer cleaning my home myself. / I prefer to clean my home myself.
In American English, like + infinitive is more common than like + -ing form.
-Ing forms are generally used after these words to talk about things in general.
- I like painting. (This is a general statement).
- I like to paint this scenery. (This refers to a particular occasion.)
After expressions like would like, would prefer, would hate and would love, infinitives are common.
- I would like to have something to drink.
- ‘Would you like a lift?’ ‘No, thanks. I would prefer to walk.’
- Do you like singing? (= Do you enjoy singing?)
- Do you like to sing? (= Do you want to sing now?)