Like, When Do I Use As?

November 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

“Like” must be one of the most abused words in the English language.  Like, what’s up with, like, the overuse of, like, the word “like.” Like, I don’t understand how, like, people are actually, like, communicating with as many uses of the word “like.”   Like, the most used word in, like, most high schools in America is “like.”  Whoa, I can’t do that anymore.

I don’t know how that use of “like” actually started but I’ve been on a personal crusade to alleviate it for quite some time.  I assign a speech early on during the year in which I deduct a point each time “like” is used out of proper context.  Sadly, two out of 22 students earned an A on that speech this year.  Beside this annoying misuse, “like” is often confused with “as” when making a comparison.  This may be easier to correct.  Let’s try:

Like vs. As

This looks like the dog(s) I grew up with and the cat I now own.  I miss my doggie!

This looks like the dog(s) I grew up with and the cat I now own. I miss Prissy and Cindy!

 

Like is a preposition used for making comparisons.  (Like can also be a verb, noun, adjective, or adverb; but, GG is concentrating on comparisons here.)  Like must be followed by a noun or pronoun:

Roman looks like my dog.    My dog looks like him.

As is a conjunction.  As is followed by a verb:

Taylor does as her friend says.     Do as I say, and as I do.

When you are uncertain whether to use like or as, look for a verb.  If a verb follows, you’ll know as is the word to use:

Every day the child acts more like her father. (no verb)     He acts as if he saw a ghost. (verb = saw)

**Tricky point ~ In comparisons, the verb may sometimes be left out to avoid wordiness.  In that case, you need to pretend it’s there:

Linda loves the city as much as I.  (the verb, do, is left out)

  • Winsor Pilates

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