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Like vs. As: What is Difference between like vs. as?

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Have you ever wondered about the difference between “like” and “as”? These two words are often used interchangeably, but they actually have distinct meanings and uses. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between “like” and “as” and provide simple rules to help you use them correctly.

Understanding the Basics

like vs as

Definition of Like

“Like” is a versatile word that can be used as a preposition, conjunction, adjective, or verb.

As a preposition, it is used to compare two things that are similar in some way.

  • For example, “She walks like a queen.”

As a conjunction, it is used to introduce a clause that is similar to the previous clause.

  • For example, “I love to dance, like my mother does.”

As an adjective, it is used to describe something that is similar to something else.

  • For example, “The dress looks like a rainbow.”

As a verb, it is used to express enjoyment or approval of something.

  • For example, “I like chocolate cake.”

Definition of As

“As” is a conjunction that is used to introduce a clause that describes the way in which something is done.

  • For example, “He ran as fast as he could.”

It is also used to compare two things that are equal in some way.

  • For example, “She is as tall as her brother.”

It’s important to note that “like” is a preposition, while “as” is a conjunction. This means that “like” is followed by a noun or pronoun, while “as” is followed by a clause. For example, “She sings like an angel” (noun), versus “She sings as if she were an angel” (clause).

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Usage of Like and As

In English, “like” and “as” are often used to compare things. However, they are not interchangeable and have different meanings. In this section, we will discuss when to use “like” and when to use “as”.

When to Use Like

“Like” is a preposition that is used to compare two things that are similar or have something in common. It is often used to make similes, which are figures of speech that compare two things using “like” or “as”. Here are some examples of when to use “like”:

  • She sings like an angel.
  • He looks like his father.
  • The water tastes like salt.

Like is often used in place of the subordinating conjunction as, or as if.

  • They look like they have been having fun. = They look as if they have been having fun.

When to Use As

“As” is a conjunction that is used to compare two things that are not necessarily similar but are being compared in terms of their function or role. Here are some examples of when to use “as”:

  • He works as a doctor.
  • She ran as fast as she could.
  • The car shook as it hit a pothole.

“As” can also be used as a preposition to mean “in the role of”, such as in the sentence “She works as a teacher”. However, when used as a conjunction, it is not interchangeable with “like”.

  • I worked as a taxi driver.
  • He was nominated as a Secretary of State.
  • He used the carpet as a decoration in his office.
  • The wind can be used as a source of energy.

Like vs. As Exercise with Answers

In order to understand the difference between “like” and “as”, it is important to practice using them correctly. Here are some exercises to help you practice using “like” and “as” correctly in a sentence.

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1. Fill in the blanks with “like” or “as”.

a. She sings _____ an angel.

b. He looks _____ he hasn’t slept in days.

c. I feel _____ I’m going to be sick.

d. She dances _____ a professional.

e. He talks _____ a robot.

Answers: a. like, b. as, c. like, d. like, e. like

2. Rewrite the following sentences using “as” instead of “like”.

a. He eats like a pig.

b. She runs like a cheetah.

c. They sleep like babies.

d. He fights like a lion.

e. She sings like an angel.

Answers: a. He eats as if he were a pig, b. She runs as if she were a cheetah, c. They sleep as if they were babies, d. He fights as if he were a lion, e. She sings as if she were an angel.

Remember, “like” is used to compare two things that are similar, while “as” is used to describe how something is done or what it is like. Keep practicing and soon you will be using “like” and “as” like a pro!


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Ibrahim Sannoh

Saturday 5th of August 2023

I want to know more about the company.


Thursday 3rd of August 2023

This is very helpful, I hope I can have the pdf version on my email. Thanks