Like and As

Like and As

Many native English speakers as well as ESL students often confused as and like since they are both used to compare actions or situations. Today's lesson will focus on the important differences.


We use the word "as" to talk about a job or function.
> I worked as a shop assistant for 2 years when I was a student.
> He used his shoe as a hammer to hang the picture up.

In comparisons, the structure "as adjective as" is often used.
> He's not as tall as his brother.
> She ran as fast as she could.

The following sentences use "as" as a conjunction.
> He went to Cambridge University, as his father had before him.
> She's a talented writer, as most of her family are.

Notice that "as" is followed by a clause with a subject and a verb.


In the following sentences, "like" is a preposition and it's followed by a noun or a pronoun.
> I've been working like a dog all afternoon.
> None of my brothers are much like me.
> She looks just like her mother.

Like and "As if" and "As though"

Like, "as if" and "as though" can all be used to compare nouns or pronouns. Each of the three forms has the same meaning.
> You look as if you've seen a ghost.
> You talk as though we're never going to see each other again.
> It looks like it's going to rain.

Expressions with "as"

> As you know, classes restart on January 15th.
> I tried using salt as you suggested, but the stain still didn't come out.
> As we agreed, the company will be split 50/50 between us.
> Their house is the same as ours.