As

'As' is a commonly-used preposition but that is not its only function. It can also be an adverb or a conjunction. In this lesson, we will learn all about it.

How to Use "As" in the English Grammar

As is a short word but it can be a preposition, a conjunction, or an adverb. It is used in different contexts in English grammar.

1. The Preposition 'As', Functions

  1. 'As' shows the purpose;
  2. 'As' shows the function;
  3. 'As' shows the characteristic;
  4. 'As' shows the similarity;
  5. 'As' means 'for instance.'

Use

As is a preposition and can be used to show purpose, function, characteristics, etc. Take a look:

1.1 'As' Shows the Purpose

As is used to show the purpose of something for doing something. Look:

It is used as a document for this issue.

'As' shows the purpose of the document.

1.2 'As' Shows the Function

As is used to show the function of something or responsibility of someone. Like:

I work as a translator.

You can use this place as a study room.

1.3 'As' Shows the Characteristic

As is used to show the characteristic or the quality of something. Look:

This book is described as a tragedy.

This is a film knows as a sitcom.

1.4 'As' Shows the Similarity

As show similarity between two nouns and has a similar meaning to 'like'.

This pot is thick as a piece of wood.

He shouts at me (just) as his father.

1.5 'As' Means 'For Instance'

As is used instead of for instance, for example:

I have some pain relievers, as Ibuprofen or Naproxen.

Position in a Sentence

If as is a preposition, it comes before nouns or pronouns in a sentence. For example:

He came to the costume party as a batman.

This film is known as a sitcom.

2. The Conjunction 'As', Functions

  1. 'As' shows the reason;
  2. 'As' shows simultaneity;
  3. 'As' shows comparison;
  4. 'As' shows the contrast;
  5. 'As' shows the result.

Use

As can be a conjunction and express reasons, simultaneity, etc. Take a look:

2.1 'As' Shows the Reason

As is used to express the reason or cause. So, it has a similar meaning to 'because, since.'

As it was rainy, I stayed at home.

You can go out as it is sunny.

2.2 'As' Shows Simultaneity

As is used to express simultaneity. That is, it indicates two actions are performed at the same time. So, it has a similar meaning to 'while.' For example:

My dad saw me as I was walking.

As he grows up, he becomes plumper.

2.3 'As' Shows Comparison

As is used to compare something to something else and it indicates the way something is done or happens. It has a similar meaning to 'just like, just the way.' For example:

You can do as you wish.

I cleaned the garden as my mom wished.

2.4 'As' Shows the Contrast

As is used to show the contrast between two clauses and it has a similar meaning to 'although, though, even though.' Note that there is an inversion in this case. Like:

Try as he might, he can't succeed.

Happy as he is, he is still shouting.

'As' in 'As he is happy...' is inverted with the adjective.

Beautifully as he sings, he doesn't know anything about solfege.

2.5 'As' Shows the Result

As in the structure so/such + adjective + as + infinitive is used to show the result or outcome.

I am so young as to exercise like that.

He was so old as to die.

Tip

As is a conjunction and can be used instead of 'that' in an informal context. Look:

I don't know as you declined that.

Position in a Sentence

If as is a conjunction, it heads an adverbial clause that acts as an adverb. That is, it adds more information to the verb, the adjective, or another adverb. For example:

I cleaned the garden as my mom wished.

'As my mom wished' is an adverbial clause and describes the verb 'cleaning.'

3. 'As' Is an Adverb

Use

As is used before adjectives or other adverbs to mean 'to the same degree.' For example:

As usual, I am hungry.

I love him a lot but I don't love you as much.

'Much' is an adverb.

As... as

The structure as + adjective/ adverb + as is used when comparing two things that are the same or equal in the same way. Look:

You should walk as slowly as a baby.

The first 'as' is an adverb and the second one is a preposition.

They are as far as my father.

Position in a Sentence

If as is an adverb, it comes before adjectives or other adverbs. For example:

You should walk as slowly as a baby.

'As' comes before the adverb 'slowly.'

As usual, I am hungry.

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