Aug 20 2019


What does it mean when someone gives you a thumbs up? It could mean “Good job!” Or maybe “I like what you said!” Sometimes it means “You can do it!,” and other times, “You look great!” To some people, a thumbs up doesn’t matter because it has so many meanings. And it’s a response people do without even thinking about it.

On the other hand, when you “like” what someone has posted online, it shows that you’re interested in what they’re doing. You might not have time to write a comment, but you want your friend to know that you enjoyed it, as opposed to saying nothing at all. The only real problem with “liking” posts is that it’s addictive!

Gary and Brian disagree about “liking” Facebook posts. Read on to see who you agree with in today’s English lesson.


Gary: Last night I posted a photo of the soccer game I went to. I cannot tell you how many “likes” it got. It was amazing.
Brian: That’s really good for you.
Gary: Do you think it’s silly, or… ?
Brian: I just think that “likes” don’t really represent anything on Facebook. It just means that someone saw and enjoyed it.
Gary: Yeah, yeah.
Brian: But wouldn’t you rather have someone comment on your photo, or… ?
Gary: For me, that’s a response. It means they saw it, they liked it. And not just liked it, but they actually appreciated it, liked it.
Brian: It just seems like it becomes a popularity contest. And I’d rather have an actual conversation with my friends about the fun things I did, as opposed to them just approving of it with a thumbs up.
Gary: I guess for me, it feels like a connection… so that when I see them in person, I know that they’ve seen it, because they liked it.
Brian: It can be really addictive to just start trying to get “likes” everywhere.
Gary: Hey, Brian. I actually like that idea.
Brian: Come on, Gary.


Gary is feeling proud. The photo he posted from his soccer game got a lot of “likes” on Facebook. When his friends “like” Gary’s posts, he knows that they saw his posts and appreciated them. It also means that Gary has something to talk about with his friends when they see each other.

It’s not that important to Brian if people “like” his posts. He would rather that a friend comment on something he puts on his Facebook page, or even better, talk about it face to face. Brian thinks that people want “likes” to feel popular. It’s an addictive activity that doesn’t interest him.

What are you saying when you “like” a friend’s internet post?

Grammar Point

Plural vs. Possessive “S”

Gary says, “I cannot tell you how many ‘likes’ it got.” He adds an “s” to “like” to make it plural.

Most nouns form the plural by adding -s or -es. For example, boat becomes boats, or hat becomes hats. The word like, when used as a noun to talk about social media, becomes likes.

A noun ending with a consonant and the letter y forms the plural by adding -ies. For instance, city becomes cities, and baby becomes babies.

This is not true for all nouns. There are many irregular plural nouns, such as woman (women), potato (potatoes), or tooth (teeth), and some nouns are the same in both the singular and plural forms (such as sheep and fish), but most nouns are made plural by adding -s, -es or -ies.

When we want to show that something belongs to somebody or something, we usually add ’s to a singular noun, and an apostrophe to a plural noun. For example, the boy’s ball (one boy) or the boys’ ball (two boys). The number of balls doesn’t matter, only the number of possessors (in this case, boys).

We often use possessive ’s with proper nouns (names): Mary’s car, Sarah’s son, or Robert’s book. If the name ends in s, like Charles, we usually treat it like a singular noun and add ’s: Charles’s friend. However, it is also correct to just add the apostrophe: Charles’ friend.

Which is correct, “Is that Nikkis book?” or, “Is that Nikki’s book?”?


  1. Why doesn’t Brian “like” things on Facebook?

  2. To Gary, getting a “like” means that a friend __.

  3. To show that you like something, you can give it a __.

  4. Which sentence does not use the possessive “S”?

See the full English lesson at English, baby!