Using as and like

March 25, 2013pdf

Like is a preposition. It is used before a noun or a pronoun.

  • She looks a bit like Elizabeth Tailor.
  • He ran like wind.
  • He always treated me like a sister.
  • I haven’t seen anybody like him.
  • She came into the hall looking like a princess.

In all of these sentences like is followed by a noun or a pronoun which acts as its object.

In informal English, like is often used as a conjunction instead of as. Although this usage is quite common in informal American English, it is not considered correct.

Read the sentences given below.

  • Nobody understands me like my mother. (Here the preposition like is correctly used. It connects its object ‘my mother’ to the rest of the sentence.)
  • Nobody understands me as my mother does. (NOT Nobody understands me like my mother does.)
  • We often drink tea with breakfast, as they do in India and China. (NOT We often drink tea with breakfast, like they do in India and China.)

In sentences given above, like is not possible because a preposition cannot be followed by a clause. A conjunction, on the other hand, is followed by a clause or a prepositional phrase.

We can use like to give examples. As is not possible in this case.

  • He is good at ball games, like soccer. (NOT He is good at ball games, as soccer.)
  • Arranged marriages are very common in Asian countries like India and Pakistan. (NOT Arranged marriages are very common in Asian countries as India and Pakistan.)
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