What is the difference between these two sentences?

I like being a Doctor.

I like to be a Doctor.

For instance I am a a Doctor by profession. And if someone asks me if I like my profession? Then what should my answer be? 1 or 2.

I searched the internet for the answer and found out that there are some verbs after which both progressive forms and to infinitives can be used and Like was listed under such verbs.

So am I right? And Do both sentences mean the same?

Thanks in advance to anyone who will solve my query.


3 Answers 3


Both sentences are correct but the common/normal usage is I like being a doctor if you are currently a doctor.

The other usage sounds a little odd and might be used if the statement is currently not the case. For example if you were saying I would like to be a doctor or I like to be a doctor when we role-play.


"I like being a doctor" is definitely the correct form. That's true for all professions, and easy enough to memorize. But you'd probably like to know why, and that's not an easy question to answer. Here's what my intuition tells me.

"I like to" is almost always followed by an action you make the conscious choice to perform. You might like to eat Chinese food, ride a bike, or play dress-up as a doctor. But you don't say "I like to go to work," you say "I like going to work," because that's a choice someone else makes for you. On the other hand, if you said "I like to go to work early so I'm prepared for the day," that's once again a deliberate decision. If this seems oddly specific, that's why we don't use this phrasing as often.

"I like being a doctor" is akin to "I like eggs." Instead of an action, "being a doctor" is a concept, a noun you're expressing appreciation for. You can also use "I like ___ing X" statements interchangeably just about anywhere you can use "I like to ___ X," but not vice versa.


By and large, I think these mean the same thing, although I also think that,'I like being a doctor', sounds more natural.

If I think about it long enough, and in all honesty probably overthink it, I believe that, 'I like being a doctor', is likely to be said by someone who is a doctor, and who identifies strongly with the idea of being a doctor, i.e., healing the sick, being needed, fighting disease, etc. On the other hand,'I like to be a doctor', sounds like someone (who may or may not be a doctor) who likes to be seen doing the things that a 'Doctor' does, e.g. wearing a white coat and wearing a stethoscope around their neck, ordering tests 'Stat!', having social prestige, having a nice house and driving a flashy car, saving someone's life with a last minute stroke of genius, etc.

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