As and like are often confused since they are both used to compare actions or situations. There are, however, important differences.
We use as to talk about job or function.
- I worked as a shop assistant for 2 years when I was a student.
- He used his shoe as a hammer to hang the picture up.
In comparisons, the structure ‘as adjective as’ is often used.
- He’s not as tall as his brother
- She ran as fast as she could.
In the following comparisons as is a conjunction – it’s followed by a clause with a subject and a verb.
- He went to Cambridge University, as his father had before him.
- She’s a talented writer, as most of her family are.
In the following comparisons, like is a preposition and it’s followed by a noun or a pronoun.
- I’ve been working like a dog all afternoon.
- None of my brothers are much like me.
- She looks just like her mother.
Like and As if/As though
Like, as if and as though can all be used to make comparisons. There is no difference in meaning among the 3 forms.
- You look as if you’ve seen a ghost.
- You talk as though we’re never going to see each other again.
- It looks like it’s going to rain.
Expressions with ‘as’
The following expressions all use as.
- As you know, classes restart on January 15th.
- I tried using salt as you suggested but the stain still didn’t come out.
- As we agreed the company will be split 50/50 between us.
- Their house is the same as ours.