Difference between Like and As is one of the common mistakes made by ESL students. So if you’re planning to take English proficiency tests in the near future, you will find this post useful.
You can either watch a short video lesson or scroll down and read the transcript below.
There is also a short quiz at the end to help you better remember the difference between Like and As.
Difference between Like and As - Transcript
Hi there and welcome to this video and our Channel.
This is Harry from englishlessonviaskype.com and you’re really really welcome.
Today we’re going to talk about the difference between LIKE and AS.
They often get confused, so hopefully by the end of this video you’ll understand the differences and how to use them a little better.
And as always, I’ll give you some examples as we go through it.
We’re using LIKE when we’re talking about something that is similar to or the same as. Okay. Often we use it when we’re comparing people. Okay.
This boy, he is like his father.
He is like hisgrandfather.
He is like his older brother.
So he is similar to them or the same as them in terms of perhaps his stature, his build, his looks, his characteristics.
He’s not exactly the same, of course, but he just looks like or acts like or behaves like them.
Somebody lives in an amazing house. Big, grand, spacious.
Oh this house is like a castle.
It’s not literally or exactly a castle. It doesn’t have parapets and a drawbridge, of course. But it’s big and it’s spacious and expensive so somebody can say:
Wow, what a house! It looks like a castle.
Okay. So when we’re using like we don’t mean it’s exactly the same. We’re using it as an example of an exaggeration and it’s just to give it some sort of emphasis. Okay.
For example, if we’re going to a disco and we’re going for dance on the floor and we say to our friends:
Be really careful, that floor is very slippery. It’s like dancing on ice.
Now, you’re not literally dancing on ice but the floor slippery so your legs are going in all directions so it’s like dancing on ice.
You look out the window and the weather is really cold. For example, this morning when I woke up it was actually snowing and it’s the 14th of April and snowing. I said:
Wow, I hate weather like this!
Meaning cold, not so so warm, a little dark, overcast, particularly at a time of the year when you’re expecting warmer weather. Ok.
So when we use LIKE it’s as a preposition, it’s always followed by a noun so that’s one way you will recognise it.
It’s like a castle.
Like dancing on ice.
Always followed by a noun. Okay.
He’s like his father.
He is like his grandfather.
Difference between Like and As
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When we use AS we usually use it before the subject and a verb. So this is how you will recognise AS.
Please leave everything as it was.
Please leave everything as it was.
It is the subject. Was is the verb.
Please do it as I showed you.
So if you’re helping somebody at work and they’re looking for some help and you help them for example with their spreadsheet you’ll say:
Please do it as I have showed you.
So I is the subject. Have showed is the verb.
So immediately you can recognise when you use AS.
When we want to use AS also as a preposition? Well, we usually use it when we’re talking about real things.
So he worked during the summer as a laborer.
Ok. So it’s exactly that that’s the work he had. He worked as a laborer.
He worked as a sales assistant in the garage.
Exactly the job he had as a sales assistant in the garage.
When he left university he worked as a doctor in the medical centre.
So as a doctor. That was literally his job.
He worked as a teacher.
As a teacher, as a banker, so always using asto describe exactly what they did and it’s very relevant when we we talk about people’s work.
Okay. It’s important to understand those differences.
So LIKE similar to the SAME AS always followed by a noun.
And then when we’re using AS it is always followed by subject and the verb.
And when we’re talking about the preposition, usually we’re telling people exactly what it is.
So LIKE it’s similar to but obviously not the same.
Like a castle – so there’s a slight exaggeration there.
But as a waiter, as a doctor then there are no exaggerations, exactly the way it was intended.
Okay. So that’s to describe the difference between like and as.
And hopefully you’ve got an understanding how to recognise them and how to use them.
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