Difference Wiki

Enjoy vs. Like: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 24, 2023
Enjoy refers to take pleasure in something. Like refers to find something agreeable or satisfactory.

Key Differences

Enjoy often implies a deeper, more immersive sense of pleasure. It's used when someone is actively indulging in an experience that brings them joy. For example, "I enjoy hiking in the mountains," suggests a deep, enriching experience that the person finds rewarding.
Like, on the other hand, is more casual and can imply a milder form of enjoyment. It's often used to express a general sense of approval or favor towards something. For instance, saying, "I like vanilla ice cream," may not carry the same depth of emotion as enjoy.
Enjoy can also imply participation in an activity. When someone says they enjoy something, it often means they are engaging in it actively. For example, "I enjoy playing the piano," suggests active involvement and pleasure derived from the action.
Like can be used in a broader context and doesn't always imply participation. It can refer to a passive preference or general appreciation. For instance, "I like classical music," doesn't necessarily mean the person actively listens to it regularly; it could just be a general preference.
Enjoy tends to convey a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from an experience. It's often associated with activities or experiences that are particularly enriching or enjoyable. For example, "I enjoy spending time with my family," implies deep emotional satisfaction.
Like, in comparison, can be more superficial or less intense. It often implies a preference rather than a deep emotional connection. For example, "I like your shirt," is an expression of approval but doesn't carry the same weight of emotional involvement as enjoy.

Comparison Chart


Implies deep pleasure and fulfillment.
Suggests a mild or general sense of approval.


Often implies active involvement.
Can be passive or just a preference.

Emotional Depth

Conveys strong, often immersive, enjoyment.
Indicates less intense feelings.

Context of Usage

Usually associated with activities or events.
Used broadly for objects, activities, ideas.


Often suggests a richer experience.
Can be more casual or superficial.

Enjoy and Like Definitions


To take delight in an activity.
They enjoy hiking in the mountains.


To have a preference for something.
She likes chocolate ice cream.


To find joy in a particular situation.
We enjoy our family vacations.


To show approval or favor towards something.
They like his proposal for the project.


To find something deeply satisfying.
She enjoys playing the violin.


To have a positive feeling towards someone or something.
He likes his new neighbors.


To appreciate the experience of.
He enjoys gourmet cooking.


To find something agreeable.
I like the way you decorated the room.


To take pleasure in something.
I enjoy reading novels on rainy days.


To show a general sense of appreciation.
We like listening to jazz music.


To receive pleasure or satisfaction from.


To find pleasant or attractive; enjoy
Do you like ice cream? I like your style.


To want to have
I would like some coffee.


Does enjoy always mean happiness?

Enjoy typically implies a positive, pleasurable experience, often associated with happiness.

Is enjoy more intense than like?

Generally, yes. Enjoy usually suggests a stronger, more immersive experience.

Can like imply active participation?

Not always. Like can be passive, simply indicating a preference.

Can enjoy refer to past experiences?

Yes, you can use enjoy to refer to past experiences that were pleasurable.

Is it correct to say "I enjoy this book" for a book I've read multiple times?

Yes, it suggests a deep, ongoing pleasure from reading it.

Can like be used for people?

Yes, it can indicate a positive feeling or preference towards someone.

Can I use like for activities?

Yes, but it may not convey the same depth of involvement as enjoy.

Can enjoy and like be used interchangeably?

While they can be similar, enjoy often implies deeper pleasure than like.

Does like always mean something positive?

Generally, yes. It implies approval or preference.

Is enjoy more emotional than like?

Often, yes. Enjoy can imply a deeper emotional connection.

Is it appropriate to use enjoy in formal writing?

Yes, enjoy is suitable for both formal and informal contexts.

Can enjoy be used in negative contexts?

Not typically. Enjoy implies positive pleasure or satisfaction.

Can I use like to express a strong preference?

Yes, but adding words like "really" can strengthen the intensity.

Can like be used for experiences?

Yes, you can use like for experiences, but it may not convey deep involvement.

Can I use enjoy for things I don’t actively participate in?

Yes, you can enjoy things passively, like enjoying a view.

Is it correct to say "I like doing this" for a habitual activity?

Yes, it suggests a general preference for the activity.

Can like imply a weaker preference?

Yes, like can sometimes suggest a mild or less intense preference.

Is enjoy always about personal experiences?

Mostly, yes. It's about personal pleasure or satisfaction.

Is like less formal than enjoy?

Not necessarily. Both can be used in formal and informal contexts.

Is it odd to say "I really enjoy this" for something simple?

No, it's not odd. It can emphasize the pleasure you derive from it.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons