Like, dislike and desire

Words and expressions relating to liking

I quite liked Tom when we first met. However, although lots of my friends said they found him attractive, I didn’t fancy him at all. He invited me out and I must admit that I was more tempted by his sports car than by him at first. However, I really enjoyed spending time with him. He fascinated me with his stories of his travels around the world and something mysterious about his past also attracted me. Moreover, we were both very keen on sailing. Soon I realised I had fallen in love with him. His sense of humour really appealed to me and I was also captivated by his gift for poetry. Now, three years later I absolutely adore him and I cannot understand why I didn’t fall for him the moment we first set eyes on each other. He is a very caring person, fond of animals and small children. He is always affectionate and loving towards me and passionate about the causes he believes in and the people he cares for. I hope we shall always worship each other as much and be as devoted to our life together as we are now.

Words and expressions relating to desiring

Desire is used either as a formal verb to express a sexual wish for someone or else it is quite a formal word for wish.

He desired her the moment he saw her.
I have a strong desire to see the Himalayas before I die.
Looking forward to means thinking about something in the future with pleasant anticipation. The opposite of look forward to is dread.
I am looking forward to going to Fiji but I’m dreading the flight.
Note: ‘to’ is a preposition here and not part of the infinitive and is followed by a noun or an -ing form.
Long for means to wish for something very much.
As soon as I get back from one holiday, I’m longing for the next.
Yearn for is a more poetic way of saying long for.
He will never stop yearning for his country although he knows he can never return.

Words and expressions relating to disliking.

Loathe, detest, hate, cannot stand and cannot bear are all stronger ways of saying dislike and they are all followed by a noun or an -ing form.

I loathe / detest / hate / cannot stand / cannot bear bad-mannered people.

Repel, revolt and disgust are all strong words used to describe the effect which something detested has on the person affected.

His paintings disgust me. I was revolted by the way he spoke. His behaviour repels me.

Ways of addressing loved ones

dearest sweetheart darling love dear pet

Pet is used mainly to children. Note that the last three words in the list are not confined to use with people who are really loved. It is not uncommon for a London bus conductor, for example, to address any girl or woman as ‘love’. (His Glasgow equivalent calls his female passengers ‘hen’.) It’s best for you, however, to keep such words for people you have a close relationship with!