In English language, both the words ‘As’ and ‘Like’ have a wide variety of uses depending on context. They have uses across almost all parts of speech such as preposition, conjunction, adverb, adjective etc. Below are the details on their usages both in formal and non-formal terms.
Major Uses Of The Word ‘As’ :
A. Used To Make Comparison :
In this case, the usual structure is ‘as + adjective + as’. See the following sentences where comparison is shown :
- Neymar is a footballer as good as Messi.
- My younger brother is as tall as I am. (Meaning we both have got the same height).
- Janhvi Kapoor is as glamorous as her late mother.
- Yesterday we went to a coffee shop situated in the downtown of the city. There, my brother drank as much as I did. (Meaning we both taken the same amount).
- My neighbor Rozina Khatun is very intelligent, as most of her family members are.
- The man standing over there is wearing the same shirt as I am (wearing).
Note : Any conjunction is always followed by a clause (a sentence with a subject and verb—auxiliary or main verb. Look at the above 5 and 6 number sentences where the word ‘as’ is used as a conjunction for sure.
B. Used To Introduce A Clause :
In this case, the clause introduced is put at the beginning of sentence. See the examples provided below :
- As you know, I am going to Dubai on a vocation with my family next week.
- As the police were informed,
- As I told you, she secured GPA 5.0 in SSC Examination.
- As we are getting late, we can take a private vehicle to get there in time.
C. Used To Talk About Job Or Function :
In this case, we use the word ‘as’ to describe what someone does or did or what someone’s profession is or was and what activities or functions something can do, delivers or can get done with. Look at the sentences below :
- I worked for some time as a library assistant while I was at middle school.
- My father worked as CFO before retirement.
- This machine can be used as a dish washing machine alongside making bakery items. (Expressing the function of the device).
- My younger cousin works as a career consultant at a foreign firm situated in downtown London.
D. Used To Show Certain Time Expressions :
In this case, the word ‘as’ is used to mean ‘at the moment, at the time when, while etc. Look at sentences below :
- As a middle school student, I always stood first in terms of exam results among fellow classmates. (Meaning when I was a middle school student, ….).
- As a teacher, my father achieved huge reputation from people of all quarters. (Meaning when or while he was a teacher).
- As a young man, my grandfather used to swim a lot. (Meaning when he was young, he did a lot of swimming).
- As the boss reached office, we had already finished the assignment. (Meaning at the time when the boss got to office, we had done the task given to us).
- As babies grow older, they learn to speak slowly.
Main Uses of The Word ‘Like’ :
Like as, the word ‘Like’ has multiple uses in English language. It can be used as a preposition, adverb and many more depending on the context. Details on the uses of ‘Like are given below :
A. Used To Make Comparisons :
In this case, Like is used as a preposition. See the following sentences :
- My younger daughter exactly looks like me. (Followed by me, a pronoun).
- None of your children is like you. (Like is followed here by a pronoun, ‘you’).
- That man over there looks like just my younger brother.
- The girl looks like exactly her grandmother.
Note : Prepositions are always followed by noun, pronoun or noun phrase or compound noun. Since like is used as a preposition in the sentences above, so it is also followed by a noun or a pronoun.
Attention : Like, As If and As Though can all be used to make comparisons between two things or situations. There is no difference among them when it comes to meaning. See the following sentences :
- It looks like it is going to rain soon. (Making comparison of situation).
- It looks as if you just got frightened by something.
- You talk as though you are so exhausted from the simple task assigned to you by the office.
Final Words : Both the words—As & Like— can be used for a number of purposes depending on context, uses and placement. Though the word ‘as’ is considered a conjunction, it can be used as preposition, adverb and other parts of speech also whereas the word ‘Like’ can be used as adjective, adverb and even as a noun also, subject to context or uses. It should be noted that both ‘As’ and ‘Like’ can be used to compare actions or situations.
Since their uses are confusing when it comes to what parts of speech they represent, so it would be wise to practice more to have command over ambiguities regarding their applications.