A friend of mine told me that he always dislikes K country's food, and I said,

"I like what you dislike"

But I could see that he was so confused and was thinking what I meant, so I explained to him, "I don't like K country's food either. Then we both laughed.

I think the sentence, "I like what you dislike" can refer to
(1), I like the thing you dislike
(2), I like the action that you have done

He was not sure whether I was talking about (1) or (2), so he was confused.

Am I right?

  • Now, I am confused. I would have thought that you meant that you like the food. If you meant the second, I would have said "I like it that you dislike it, too!" – Msfolly Jan 10 '16 at 16:20
  • Regarding food (thing), I'd use the first choice. – Alejandro Jan 10 '16 at 16:21


The other person may be confused on if you're talking about if you like whatever he dislikes in general, or if you like the thing he dislikes that he is talking about right now.

X likes what Y dislikes

is parsed like this:

X likes [what Y dislikes].

It can never mean

I like the action that you have done.

and always means

I like the thing you dislike


I like the action that you have done

I would say any of the following:

Me too.


I dislike K's food too.

I dislike K's food as well.

I agree.

| improve this answer | |

You are correct in your thinking.

I like what you dislike

Means, whatever your friend dislikes, you like, you are being contrarian to him.

I dislike what you dislike

Means you both dislike something

I like that you dislike
I like your dislike

Means you like he has a certain negative feeling about something, whether or not you also like it

I like that you dislike chocolate, it means more chocolate for me!

You could easily have said

I agree!

and he would not have been confused.

| improve this answer | |

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