Mehrdad
is there a difference between "I want to learn cooking" and "I want to learn how to cook"
Nov 14, 2019 9:35 AM
Answers · 4
For me there's a small difference. "I want to learn cooking" emphasizes more all aspects of cooking. Not just the required specifics of a particular meal, dish, or particular recipe, but more depth. That is I want to learn more than *just* how to cook something. I may want to know the several ways of cooking it, the history, the variations, etc. And I want to know about cooking in general - I want to understand it almost as much as I was trying to understand any particular area of knowledge. "I want to learn how to cook" *can* mean the above, but for me it generally means I have less requirements in what I want to know. I just want to know the practicalities of cooking - ie how to prepare basic meals. I'm not so interested in treating 'cooking' as something I need to go into any great depth with. This is my take on the 2 sentences :)
November 14, 2019
"Learn to cook" is about 10x more common than "learn cooking." Here is the Google Ngram. https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=learn+cooking%2C+learn+to+cook%2C+learn+how+to+cook&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Clearn%20cooking%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Clearn%20to%20cook%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Clearn%20how%20to%20cook%3B%2Cc0 To learn how to [infinitive]. << Standard, given by dictionaries and by English Grammar in Use (Unit 54). To learn to [infinitive]. << Standard, reduced form, most common To learn [gerund]. << Nonstandard To learn [noun]. << Standard Examples: To learn how to play the piano. To learn to play the piano. To learn playing the piano. << Nonstandard. "To learn cooking" may be an exception. Google Ngrams show meaningful usage. To learn Italian cuisine. To learn Italian cooking. To learn cooking. << Regional? However, other gerunds (to learn driving, painting, drawing, ...) have essentially zero usage. Here is an Ngram for swimming. https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=learn+swimming%2Clearn+to+swim%2Clearn+how+to+swim&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Clearn%20swimming%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Clearn%20to%20swim%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Clearn%20how%20to%20swim%3B%2Cc0
November 14, 2019
different in what way. They both mean basically the same thing.
November 14, 2019
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Mehrdad
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English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Persian (Farsi), Russian, Spanish
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English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish