I've read in a grammar text that :

  1. I don't like people telling me what to do.

  2. I don't like being told what to do.

The author claimed that 1,2 convey same information in reader.

However, I think (1) is reduced version of the below sentence:

I don't like people who are telling me what to do.

Which is implying "I dislike people" rather "I dislike their aptitude". Would you please shed light on my confusion ?

Beside, I want to know is it grammatically correct to use passive infinitive as:

  1. I don't like to be told what to do.


Is there any difference between 2 and 3 ? Thanks.


I agree that those two sentences have different meanings, exactly as you described. The last sentence is correct.


As far as the explanation, yes, you're correct, there is a slight difference. If you change the first sentence to

I don't like people's telling me what to do.

it will change the meaning since the object to 'like' is now 'telling' and not 'people'. However, I rarely hear or read that form.

As to your second inquiry, in some phrases verb-gerund can be swapped with verb-to-infinitive without the change in meaning. Compare "start to walk" and "start walking" (and other with "begin" meaning), "continue to think" and "continue thinking", etc. In your case it's "like to be" and "like being".

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