Like and As

English Glossary Index

Like and As :

Strictly speaking, the word
like is a preposition, not a conjunction. It can, therefore, be used to introduce a prepositional phrase ("My brother is tall like my father"), but it should not be used to introduce a clause ("My brother can't play the piano likeas he did before the accident" or "It looks like as if basketball is quickly overtaking baseball as America's national sport."). To introduce a clause, it's a good idea to use as, as though, or as if, instead.

  • Like As I told you earlier, the lecture has been postponed.

  • It looks like as if it's going to snow this afternoon.

  • Johnson kept looking out the window like as though he had someone waiting for him.

  • In formal, academic text, it's a good idea to reserve the use of
    like for situations in which similarities are being pointed out:

  • This community college is like a two-year liberal arts college.

  • However, when you are listing things that have similarities,
    such as is probably more suitable:

  • The college has several highly regarded neighbors, like such as the Mark Twain House, St. Francis Hospital, the Connecticut Historical Society, and the UConn Law School.

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