“Like” / “As”

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Welcome to your “Like” / “As” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• At the same time as
“Like” meaning “For example”
• “As” meaning “In the same way”
Other uses of “As” and “Like”
• “As” as a preposition
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

“Like” meaning “Similar to”

“Like” means “the same as” or “similar to”. You cannot use “as” in this way. In these sentences, “like” is a preposition, so it’s followed by a noun, a pronoun or “-ing”:

“You’re so pretty, you’re like a model!”
(not “as a model”)

“My brother’s a doctor, like me.”
(not “as me”)

“It sounds like a baby crying.”
(not “as a baby crying”)

“Like” meaning “For example”

Sometimes, “like” means “for example”:

“Some countries, like Sudan, are very dangerous.”

You can also use “such as” instead of “like”:

“Some countries, such as Sudan, are very dangerous.”

“As” meaning “In the same way”

“As” can mean “in the same way” or “in the same condition as”:

“You should have done it as I told you to.”

In informal spoken English, you can use “like”:

“You should have done it like I told you to.”

You can replace “like” with “as” only in this situation. Not when it is followed by a noun, a pronoun or “-ing”.

Note that we say “as always”, or “as usual”:

“You’re late for class as always.”

As usual, James went for a run on Sunday.”

Other uses of “As” and “Like”

Sometimes the form “As + subject + verb” have other meanings:

“You can do as you like.”
(you can do what you like)

“I did as I promised.”
(I did what I promised)

You can also say “as you like”, “as they said”, “as she thought” etc.:

As you know, it’s Christmas next week.”
(you knew this already)

“I failed the exam as I expected.”
(I expected this before)

“Like” is not usual in these expressions, except with “say”:

As I said yesterday, we’re moving house.”
Like I said yesterday, we’re moving house.”

“As” as a preposition

“As” can also be a preposition, but the meaning is different from “like”:

As Like

“James is the manager of the company, as the manager he has lots of responsibilities.”

As the manager = in his position as the manager.

“Brian is the assistant manager, like the manager James, Brian has lots of responsibilities.”

Like the manager = similar to the manager

When it’s a preposition, “as” means “in the form of”, “in the position of” etc:

“When I was twenty I worked as a postman.”

“The news of the fire came as a great shock.”

“Gardening is great as a hobby.”

“Smartphones can be used as televisions.”

Useful Links

Comparatives 3
“As”
“As if” / “As though” / “Like”

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