What is the right way to say “Nobody like (likes) doing something”? What word I should use: like or likes?

  • Possibly related – Jerry May 29 '13 at 17:28
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    Isn't this question a better fit for English Language Learners SE (ell.stackexchange.com) ? – Caesar May 29 '13 at 17:30
  • Wow, I didn't know that there is a such board on SE. Please excuse me for a wrong board choice. – Sunny Reborn Pony May 29 '13 at 17:36
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    What @caesarsgrunt said. Learners is still in "beta", so I can't closevote as "Off Topic, should be on ELL". I think it's Too Localised, since ELL is supposed to be concerned with questions of interest to linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts. The question of whether nobody is singular or plural doesn't fall into that category. – FumbleFingers May 29 '13 at 17:40
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    Nobody is neither singular nor plural by semantics. So, by arbitrary grammatical fiat alone, it is always singular. Hence it takes the third person singular -(e)s suffix on verbs in the present tense. – John Lawler May 29 '13 at 18:31

If you are trying to say that nobody enjoys X, you would say "Nobody likes X."


There are two possible meanings here:

  1. Nobody likes Jim - in the sense that everyone dislikes Jim.
  2. There is nobody like Jim - in the sense that Jim is an unusual (unique) character.
    This is independent of whether people generally like or dislike him.


OK, sorry, I've just noticed that the question was about liking doing something.
In that case, I agree with GetzelR's answer: it should be

Nobody likes going to school [or whatever].

  • 3. Imperative. 4. Subjunctive. – RegDwigнt May 29 '13 at 19:23

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