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I was journalling, and I typed the following:

I would love to learn how to program in Haskell and Rust.

But then I realized that "love" is too strong a word. It's only true that I would enjoy learning to program in Haskell and Rust, but it's not true that I would love doing it.

So, I replaced the word "love" with "enjoy":

I would enjoy to learn how to program in Haskell and Rust.

But then I realized that this sounds awkward to my English-as-my-first-language ears.

But, it seems like the verbs "to enjoy" and "to love" should work the same? They do work the same in the following:

  • I enjoy line dancing.
  • I love line dancing.

But they don't seem to work the same in the following:

  • I enjoy to line dance. [this sounds awkward]
  • I love to line dance.

Is there a grammatical reason that "I enjoy to line dance" sounds so awkward to me?


Edit (after I accepted that this question is an exact duplicate of a different question) :

I might note that the following does sound fine to my ears, though:

I would enjoy very much to tell my boss that he can go f*** himself! I hate him so much!

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    No, they don't 'work' the same. Unlike "love", the verb "enjoy" does not licence (specifically permit) an infinitival complement, but only a gerund-participial one. Which is why your first example seems awkward (in fact it is ungrammatical). – BillJ Nov 19 '17 at 17:19
  • @BillJ Is there a reason for this, or is it just down to accepted usage? This is an intriguing question. – Mick Nov 19 '17 at 17:20
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    @sylph Your very last example is OK because the infinitival clause is complement of "go" not "enjoy". – BillJ Nov 19 '17 at 17:39
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    @sylph No, it doesn't parse like that, but as "I would enjoy very much [to tell my boss [that he can go [f*** himself! ...]]]. As you can see. the f- clause is a dependent of "go", quite remote from "enjoy". – BillJ Nov 19 '17 at 17:45
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    @BillJ Thanks for trying to explain this to me. I probably do not understand enough about clauses to understand your answer, however, but I do appreciate your attempt. In the least, I do now see that this last sentence is different than the others, in that "to line dance" or "to learn to program in Haskell" are much shorter than "to tell my boss that he can go f*** himself", which might have something to do with why this last sentence sounds okay. – silph Nov 19 '17 at 17:50
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It sounds awkward because it is incorrect English. :)

✓ I would love to learn how to program in Haskell and Rust.

✘ I would enjoy to learn how to program in Haskell and Rust.

✓ I would enjoy learning how to program in Haskell and Rust.

✓ I would like to learn how to program in Haskell and Rust.

I enjoy line dancing.

I love line dancing.

✘ I enjoy to line dance.

I love to line dance.

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