After trying to explain to my friend that he was misusing "I will like to" in place of "I would like to" and showing him this answer (I apologize for asking again), he still argues he is correct. He argues he is correct regardless of my "American" english despite me explaining that "will" implies, you can, and WILL DEFINITELY do something. I lack the knowledge to properly counter his argument:

I would have loved to do that(past)

I will love to do ( future )

  • 'I will like to go to the cinema tomorrow' is unidiomatic. Jan 11, 2018 at 22:57
  • And what's your friend's native language?
    – Boondoggle
    Jan 11, 2018 at 23:01
  • In what context does your friend use "I will like to..."?
    – Boondoggle
    Jan 11, 2018 at 23:07
  • @Boondoggle UK english, but even that is poorly spoken by most people in our country He uses "will" in place of "would" when describing ANYTHING would like to do.
    – Will
    Jan 11, 2018 at 23:11
  • "I will love to do X" implies I don't love doing X now, but at some point in the future I will.
    – Kevin
    Jan 11, 2018 at 23:57

2 Answers 2


You're correct. One of the dictionary meanings of would is:

  1. Expressing a desire or inclination.
    I would love to work in America
    would you like some water?

The desire is happening now, so we use the present tense of the verb, even though it refers to an activity that may take place in the future.

will is used for an action that will actually take place in the future, rather than just a desire to do so. E.g.

I will make love to her tonight.


I will love doing that.

The latter expresses the idea that when you're performing the activity in the future you'll enjoy it, but says nothing explicitly about your current opinion (although we can probably infer things).

  • 1
    This does not address 'I will like to ...' (and has been given in answers before). Jan 11, 2018 at 22:58
  • @EdwinAshworth I've added some more explanation, is it helpful now? If there's a dupe, please link it.
    – Barmar
    Jan 11, 2018 at 23:08
  • So is this sentence considered grammatical: "I would go to MIT someday"? Jan 11, 2020 at 21:54
  • @MrReality It might be grammatical, but it's not idiomatic. "I would like to go to MIT someday" is fine.
    – Barmar
    Jan 12, 2020 at 3:10

No, you cannot interchangeably use the two phrases.

I would like to swim.

This holds more reservation. You are not sure whether you will actually swim.

I will like to swim.

This communicates the expectation one has.

Furthermore, there is statistical evidence from ngrams that in general you rarely would say "will like to". There is a 222 to 1 ratio likelihood for "would like to" against" will like to" in English books indexed by Google ngrams. google ngrams

Interestingly enough there is a difference between the American and British frequency ratio. American has a 218 to 1 ratio while British shows 182 to 1 ratio.

American English: american english

British English: british english ngrams

Even more interesting the usage of "will like to" has increased by more than 130% between 2001 and 2008 in British books while the frequency of "would like to" slightly decreased. british english will like to

In that same period the usage of "will like to" has increased by more than 140% in American books while the frequency of "would like to" kept relatively stable. american english will like to

Maybe your friend is on to something. Maybe one day...

  • "will like to" is just wrong :o) Jan 12, 2018 at 0:45
  • I can't help thinking that the increased usage of "will like to" somehow relates to the digital age. But how?
    – Boondoggle
    Jan 12, 2018 at 1:17
  • Mostly non-native speakers, from a cursory glance through the results of a Google search or two. I hope that doesn't sound racist :-# Jan 12, 2018 at 1:25

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