Difference between as and like

December 9, 2013pdf

These two words are often confused. Use ‘like’ to state that someone is very similar to another. Like is a preposition and should be followed by a noun or pronoun.

She is like her mother. (= They are very similar.)

She plays the piano like her sister.

As is used to describe the function of a person or object.

He works as a bartender.

Examples are given below.

My sister is just like my mother, but I am more like my father.

Don’t use your nail as a screwdriver.

He is just like his brother. They are both crazy about soccer.

As can also be used as a conjunction. In this case, it is followed by a clause or a prepositional phrase. As a conjunction as shows similarity.

Nobody loves her as I do.

The same idea can be expressed using like.

Nobody loves her like me. (Note that here the preposition like is followed by the object pronoun me.)

In August, as in July, the weather is very hot.

Here the conjunction as is followed by the prepositional phrase ‘in July’.

In a very informal style, like is often used as a conjunction. This is very common in American English. However, this is not considered correct.

Nobody loves her like I do.

Exercise

Complete the following sentences using as or like.

1. On Friday, …………………. on Thursday, we had two meetings.

2. My brother works …………………. a motor mechanic.

3. He was a non-smoker, ………………….. were most of his friends.

4. I don’t smoke or drink, …………………. Peter.

5. Please don’t use that plate ……………… an ashtray.

Answers

1. as; 2. as; 3. as; 4. like; 5. as

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