As a native English speaker, this is why I think it is that way.

Firstly, "to like" means "to have a preference for", "to desire". And, as
you noted, "to enjoy" (which I hadn't really thought of before). It can be
used in a "romantic" sense. With preference, it is sort of a "I enjoy it to
the point where I prefer to do it.": "He likes football and not baseball"
(pity the poor soul). Of course, it is not always exclusive: "I like pasta,
but I also like antipasta and salad." (forgiving the bad pun). I think you
have the meaning down, though.

"I'd like" is a short form of "I would like" (the latter is more formal than
the former, if not by much. I intrepret it as an abbreviation--that is, some
part of the sentence is unstated. "What do you want?" "I would like (it if
you would get me) a sandwich". Basically. It's the conditional form,
indicating that if the listener were to fulfill the speaker's request, then
the speaker would enjoy it more. Naturally, the speaker would prefer, then,
that the listener fulfill the request. Incidentally, French also uses a
conditional form: "Je voudrais..." "I would want..." (assuming I remember my
French correctly).

Idiomatically, and how it's usually used, it's a slightly more formal way of
stating "I want". The Japanese equivilent I would actually use is the "-te
ii desu" form, but I'm no native Japanese speaker.

Basically, it derives from the conditional of "I would like". Just, that
interpretation of what that conditional means is mine. So I might be totally


> Merhaba!
> This morning at heritage language class (a.k.a. 'Hungarian school' (even
> of the hundred(?) or so students, only about 30-40 are Hungarian)), I was
> writing out vocab when I noticed that, when we got to it, the phrase 'I'd
> like...' is idiomatic. Here's the sentence taken apart:
> I = 1st person singular nominative personal pronoun(! :) )
> 'd (<- would) = cliticized conditional mood auxiliary verb (right?)
> like = think favourably of, enjoy (1)
> So doesn't 'I'd like...' really mean 'I want (polite - with
Japanese -masu)'?
> If so, what's a conditional mood doing modifying a verb meaning 'to think
> favourably of (1)'? Shouldn't it be 'I wish to have (take possession
> or 'I'd appreciate it if you gave me...'?
> Could someone explain this weird construction to me?
> (1) I've also noticed that 'to like' can also mean 'to enjoy X', as in 'He
> enjoyed the game'.
> --Trebor
> PS: It's actually [tREboR].