Like vs As

We generally use LIKE and AS to make comparisons.


Like means “same form, appearance, kind, character” and is followed by a noun or noun phrase. The verb is often static, such as be, seems, looks, acts.

  • The structure of the sentence is usually: VERB + LIKE + NOUN / PRONOUN.

– He speaks like a native speaker.
– She looks like a supermodel.

  • It is also used before a Gerund (NON-FINITE CLAUSE)

– Talking with him is like talking to myself.


As means “in the manner” and is usually followed by a clause (subj + verb).

  •  The structure of the sentence is usually: AS + SUBJECT + VERB.

– Nobody sings as she does.
– We behave as though we were two comedians.
– He acts more as a brother would (act).

  • Another use of AS is to say what the role/function of a person/thing is.

– He started work as a carpenter.
– She used the tapestry as a decoration in her living room.

  • It can also be used to compare 2 elements: AS + MODIFIER + AS

– He is as smart as a fox

LIKE instead of  AS

  •  Similar meanings: It is common in American English to use LIKE instead of AS. However, it is generally considered informal to use it in this way.

– We play football like champions do.

  • Different meanings: Be careful, in similar sentences that use LIKE and AS, the meanings of each sentence are very different.

– As your boss, I must warn you to be careful. (I am your boss.)
– Like your boss, I must warn you to be careful. (I am not your boss, but he/she and I have similar attitudes.)

What comparisons could you use to describe yourself?

  • Do you look like a super model or speak English like a native speaker?
  • Are you as smart as a fox, as tall as a giraffe or as wise as an owl?

Tell LEM…xo!

p.s. This post was created by Sarah La Pietra… a very wise EASI trainer.



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