From the poem I Like For You To Be Still by Pablo Neruda

I like for you to be still.

How is that different from

I like you to be still.

  • 1
    "I like you to be still" doesn't sound right, though "I would like you to be still" does. "I like for you to be still" sounds poetic, but that might be because you mentioned Pablo Neruda in your post. :-)
    – godel9
    Dec 29 '13 at 3:42
  • I remember that I answered a similar question once. It took a while before I could find it. Here it is: ell.stackexchange.com/a/14795/3281. Dec 29 '13 at 10:30
  • Yes; I think @DamkerngT.'s answer to that question will answer this one, too, so I'm voting to close. Dec 29 '13 at 16:42


Poetry doesn't automatically follow the normal conventions of written and spoken English, as the poet sometimes massages a phrase to fit into a particular rhythm or cadence that may be required by the style of poetry they are writing.

Interpreted completely out of context (as I am not familiar with that poem) I would say there is no significant difference between the two phrases.

"I like for you to be still" might be rephrased as "I like it when you are still" which is a little different than "I would like you to be still" as suggested by @godel9; but this is just my opinion.

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