Learn English – “would love/like to” usage


What is the difference between the sentences
"I would love/like to play cricket" and " I want to play cricket." Is there any difference in the moods?

Best Answer

Further to tchrist's answer, they're different, but it's more complicated than it looks.

I want to play cricket: whether the option to play cricket is available or not, to play cricket is what I want to be doing right now. I don't want to be sitting at my boring office job wasting time on ELU; I want to play cricket, dammit.

I would love to play cricket. I read this as one of: 1) My friend has asked me if I want to play cricket right now and I've replied "I would love to play cricket!" This could be followed by me saying either "So let's play!" or "But unfortunately I can't because I'm at my boring office job wasting time on ELU."

OR 2) If it were possible to play cricket right now, I would gladly do so, but alas it is not possible at all.

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