This is from an English cartoon on youtube I Don't Want to Comb My Hair! It is about a little princess who hides combs from the nanny because she doesn't want her hair to be combed by her.

Mother: Princesses must comb their hair.

Princess: But I don't like it when she does it! She pulls!

Apparently, she doesn't have problem with her hair to be combed, but she doesn't like it when combing is done by a particular person.

So, in such situations I would expect a sentence structure such as "I don't like her doing it!"

But apparently, the sentence "I don't like it when she does it!" seems to have the same meaning although the sentence is made up using "when".

So, these two structures both seem to have the same meaning, do they really?

2 Answers 2


As usual it depends on context: different ways of saying things rarely have exactly the same meaning, though they might be interchangeable in many contexts.

Here, I would say that they are usually interchangeable, but I don't like her combing my hair is potentially more general.

For example, supposes "her combing my hair" implied something about the relationship between them that the speaker does not like - so it's not the experience specifically of having her hair combed by the other person, but what it might represent if she did.


In the context of the cartoon there is no difference in meaning between the two versions. As they are aimed at a particular individual (the nanny), when spoken out loud the little princess would probably put stress on "her" and "she"

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