Which sentence would be correct:

The sun like likes the moon.

The sun likes like the moon.

One of the examples in the Urban Dictionary definition has "Jenna so like likes Tom", so I'm guessing the first sentence is correct, but it's not explicit whether the other is incorrect.

"Like like" isn't in any respectable dictionaries. Googling [contrastive focus reduplication verb conjugation] didn't bring up anything interesting.

What's the third-person singular conjugation of the verb "to like like"?

  • According to Google Trends, "like likes" is by far more popular than "likes like". – MiCl Mar 24 '15 at 21:46
  • "like" in the first version could also be a filler word, similar to "er", "uh". In that case I would write it as "The sun, like, likes the moon". For the term discussing romantic attraction version I recommend the spelling like-like, which is easier on the eyes and also more clearly suggests the way it is actually spoken. For example, if you are talking about Jarod you might say "I really like Jarod. But I don't like-like him." The natural pronunciation is LIKE-like (with stronger emphasis on the first like). – Brandin Mar 25 '15 at 16:08
  • For second person singular the correct form is "like-likes". "He like-likes me." Notice that this is pronounced differently than "He - like - likes me." – Brandin Mar 25 '15 at 16:11

You would probably say "like likes," with the initial like functioning as sort of an adverbial modifier rather than as a true verb. But odds are you wouldn't want to use the phrase at all, unless you want to sound like you're 12 years old.

Like like (which would typically be formatted as "like like") is an informal phrase that typically indicates that the subject has a romantic "crush" on the object. The phrase turns on the ambiguity of the word like, which ordinarily indicates affection or affinity for something ("I like oranges"), but is also commonly used by school-aged children to indicate romantic feelings, often on the part of someone who is afraid to express them to the object of his or her affections ("Jeremy told me that John likes Erin!").

So perhaps I confront John on the playground one day and I ask him how he feels about Erin. Guardedly, John says "I like her." I respond with "So do you like her, or do you like like her?", meaning "Are you just fond of her as a friend, or do you have romantic feelings for her?"

As this suggests, "like like" has a strong connotation of juvenile silliness about it, so you wouldn't want to use it among adults unless you're intentionally trying to be ironic or humorous.

  • 1
    An answer that both educates and informs. Educates, in that we learn how the third person form of the verbal phrase would probably work, and informs, in that we learn you were a playground bully. – Parthian Shot Mar 26 '15 at 1:15
  • Couldn't it also be a filler - as in "I kinda like sat around and did nothing all afternoon"? – Araucaria Sep 28 '15 at 1:56

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