as and like

  • Similarity
    • We can use like or as to say that things are similar.

    a. Like is a preposition. We use like before a noun or pronoun. [like + noun/pronoun]

      You look like your sister. (NOT … as your sister.)
      He ran like the wind. It’s like a dream.
      She’s dressed just like me.

    We use like to give examples.

      He’s good at some subjects, like mathematics (NOT ., . as mathematics.)
      In mountainous countries, like Switzerland, . . .

    b. As is a conjunction. We use as before a clause, and before an expression beginning with a preposition.
    [as + clause
    as + preposition phrase]

      Nobody knows her as I do.
      We often drink tea with the meal, as they do in China.
      In 1939, as in 1914, everybody wanted war.
      On Friday, as on Tuesday, the meeting will be at 8.30.

    In informal English like is often used instead of as.
    This is very common in American English.

      Nobody loves you like I do.

    For like = as

  • Function
  • We use as, not like, to say what function a person or thing has — what jobs people do, what things are used for, etc.

      He worked as a waiter for two years. (NOT . . . like a waiter.)
      Please don’t use your plate as an ashtray