I heard that there is a delicate difference between "I would like to" and " I would love to."

Could you please tell me the difference in meaning between "I would like to" and " I would love to"?

  • 2
    For any given speaker it's possible they might think love is more "emphatic" than like, but as a general principle you can't assume anything like that. It's like the fact that some people "casually" exclaim Oh my God! in relatively unsurprising contexts, whereas others are so unflappable they probably wouldn't say that even if God himself appeared before them in the form of a (talking) burning bush. – FumbleFingers Nov 21 '16 at 17:04
  • @FumbleFingers: I would expect that, whether a person uses "love to" casually or otherwise, they would use it to provide greater emphasis than "like to." The question is flagged as "primarily opinion-based", but I'm voting to leave it open because I think there might be a non-opinion-based answer in it. – LMS Nov 21 '16 at 17:40
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers agreed. And when one person says "I would love to", it's not necessarily more emphatic than a different person who says "I would like to." Age, region, the audience, would all affect whether a given person would say 'like' or 'love', and what they meant by it. – John Feltz Nov 21 '16 at 18:42
  • @John Feltz: Yeah. You might as well ask who's more contrite if three different people say I'm very sorry, I'm really sorry, I'm truly sorry. Or indeed, I'm totally sorry, which might mark someone out as a bit sloppy with language, but that doesn't mean they can't experience deep remorse. – FumbleFingers Nov 21 '16 at 18:48

People use love to and like to for all sort of things. love to is more intense than like to, but the degree of intensity is relative to the situation at hand. The phrases can have very little or quite a lot of emotion behind them.

I'd love to know where my car keys went.

I'd like to know where my car keys went.

I'd love to punch that jerk in the nose.

I'd like to punch that jerk in the nose.

I'd love to be in a position to help my brother out financially.

I'd like to be in a position to help my brother out financially.


I would (I'd) love to is the basic way to accept an invitation to do something:

A: Would you like to join me for dinner?

B: I'd love to.

As for the degree of empathy in I would love to go with you and I would like to go with you, FumbleFingers' comment covers the ground ultimately.

  • There is a difference between attempting to distinguish I would like to join you and I would love to join you (futile, imho), and your exact example. To my ear, unqualified I'd like to would be a relatively unlikely response from B (unless immediately negated / tempered, as in I'd like to, but I'm washing my hair tonight). – FumbleFingers Nov 21 '16 at 17:54

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