“What does she like?” “What is she like?” Grammar

“What does she like?”, “What is she like?”

Be careful! These two sentences sound similar to new learners of English, but the different grammar structures completely change the meaning.

Look at this short conversation:

Peter:  “Hi Lek. You often go to Koh Samui. Do you like it?”

Lek:  “ Yes, I love it.”   (This means she enjoys being there)

Peter:  “I have never been there. What is it like?”

Lek:  “It is very beautiful and the water is so clear.”   (Description of Koh Samui)


Grammar Structure

“Do + Subject+Like+Object”  is asking if someone enjoys something.

“What + BE + Subject +like?” is asking for a description.

More examples:

“What do you like?”  “I like Koh Samui.”  “I like the beach”

“What is ice cream like?” “It is very sweet.” “It is cold”


So, the first two sentences would have the following answers:

“What does she like?”  “She likes ice cream. She likes Koh Samui”

What is she like?  “She is beautiful.  She is kind and helpful”.


Exercise: Make sentences from the cues below to make complete sentences.


  1. Like/ my/ new shoes ? Yes, they are very smart
  2. Your/new condo/like? It’s very nice, The location is excellent.
  3. I see you have a new mobile phone.   /you/like/it?       Yes, I really love it.
  1. /your/ father/ like/?        He is very tall and handsome.


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