Like as a preposition and conjunction

April 18, 2013pdf

The word like exhibits several different grammatical properties. It can be used as a preposition, a conjunction, an adjective or an adverb.

Like as a preposition

When used as a preposition, like is followed by a noun.

  • She looks like her mother.
  • He walks like his dad.

Like as a conjunction

In informal English, like is sometimes used as a conjunction instead of as. This is very common in American English.

  • Nobody understands her like I do. (Informal)
  • Nobody understands her as I do. (Formal)

Like

If you are like somebody you are similar to him or her.

  • She is like her mother.
  • It was a small bird like a sparrow. (= The bird was similar to a sparrow.)
  • She was like her brother. They were both excellent writers.
  • No one can play the piano like he does.

Like can be used with the modifiers just and very.

  • My neighbour has bought a new car just like mine.
  • He is very like his brother in many ways.

We can use like after the copular verbs seem, look, sound, smell, taste and feel. As is not usually possible in this case.

  • She seems like a good candidate for the job. (NOT She seems as a good candidate for the job.)
  • He looks like his brother. (NOT He looks as his brother.)

Feel like

Feel can be followed by like or as if / though.

  • She felt like she was in a dream. (= She felt as if she was in a dream.)

Feel like can also mean ‘want’ or ‘would like’.

  • I feel like singing. (= I want to sing.)

Like new

If something is like new, it looks like it is new.

  • They just applied a coat of paint and the house was like new.
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