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Like and As


What is the difference between like and as?

Like and as are confusing for many English learners. In this section, we will try to show how they are used in specific examples.

As - preposition / conjunction

As may function as a preposition and is used when we talk about a job or function:

Examples:

  • 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.

As may also be used as a conjunction meaning in the same way that...

Examples:

  • She behaved exactly as her mother told her.
  • When in Rome do as the Romans do.

Like - preposition / conjunction

Like may be used as preposition meaning similar to. It is used to compare things.

  • He has been working like a dog.
  • I am like my mother. I hate waiting.
  • He looks like his father.

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

Examples:

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

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