'As' and 'like' are used as conjunctions and prepositions. In this lesson, we will learn their similarities and differences.

"As" vs. "Like" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'as' and 'like' is that 'as' is used to talk about the role of someone or something while 'like' talks about similarities.

Similarities and Differences

Parts of Speech

'As' and 'like' can be used as conjunctions, prepositions, or adverbs.

As it is late, we need to leave.

Here, 'as' is a conjunction.

She is tall as her mother was.

Here, 'as' is an adverb.

Like my mother used to say, you should try for happiness.

Here, 'like' is a conjunction.

I have a car just like yours.

Here, 'like' is a preposition.

Usage

The Same Way

'As' and 'like' as conjunctions can be used to express an action or event that has happened in the same way that something else has happened. Have a look:

No one understands me like she does.

No one understands me as she does.

Tip!

Remember that in this context, using 'like' will make your sentences informal and we advise you to use 'as' instead in formal contexts.

Comparison

'Like' is used to compare two things. For instance, we want to compare two students and show that they both have issues with a specific course. Watch:

Harry, like Tom, has difficulty with learning Maths.

Note that we cannot use 'as' in this context.

The Role of

We use 'as' to show that someone or something plays a specific role. This can be expressing a job. Have a look:

He works as a caretaker.

Note that if we use 'like,' it would express a different meaning. 'Like' would suggest that someone or something has a similar role to another.

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