Using 'as' and 'like'

Using 'as' and 'like'

Do you know how to use like and as? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how as and like are used.

I worked as an actor for two years.
I went home early as I felt ill. 
He looks as if he hasn't slept.
As you know, this is the third time I've had to complain.
He looks like his dad. 
She's like a sister to me.
Try to do something relaxing, like reading a book or having a bath.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

'as' and 'like': Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

as and like are often confused since they can both be used for comparisons. There are, however, important differences.

Making comparisons

as + adjective + as and as much as

We often use the structure as + adjective + as or as much as to say if something has, or doesn't have, the same amount of that quality as something else. 

She loves curry as much as I do.
He's not as tall as his brother.
It's not as expensive as the other hotel.
That dog is as big as that child!

You also have to use as in the expression the same as.

Your phone is the same as mine.
Texting is not the same as speaking in person.

like + noun

In the following comparisons, like is followed by a noun or a pronoun to say that two things are similar.

He's like a father to me.
She's acting like a child.
It's like a burger but with big mushrooms instead of bread.
There are lots of people like us.

It is also common to make comparisons using like with verbs of the senses.

She looks like her mother.
It sounds like a cat.
Nothing tastes like homemade lemonade.
It smells like medicine.
It feels like cotton.

as if/as though + clause

As if and as though can be used to compare a real situation to an imaginary situation. They are followed by a clause (a subject and verb).

You look as if you've seen a ghost.
I felt as if I was floating above the ground.
You talk as though we're never going to see each other again.

Giving examples

We can say like or such as to give examples. 

You could try a team sport like football, basketball or hockey.
You should take something soft, such as a towel, to lie on.


Talking about a job or function

We can use as + noun to talk about a job or function. 

I worked as a shop assistant for two years.
He used his coat as a blanket to keep warm.


as to connect two phrases

as can be used as a conjunction to connect two phrases. It can have different meanings.

as = 'because'

All the tickets were sold out as we got there too late.
As the road was closed, I had to park on the next street.

as = 'while' or 'during the time that'

She called as I was getting out of the bath.
As they were arriving, we were leaving.

as'in the way that'

As we expected, it started to rain.
As you know, classes restart on 15 January.
As I said, I think this project will be a challenge.

** Note that in informal speech, people sometimes say like for 'in the way that'.

Like I said, I didn't know her.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

'as' and 'like': Grammar test 2

Language level

Average: 4.7 (59 votes)

Submitted by Akashtigile on Wed, 11/03/2020 - 19:37

You haven't explained conjunction or relative pronoun such as "", "such... that", "", and "so......that". Please explain all these.

Hello Akashtigile,

The pages have to be somewhat limited in scope as otherwise they would become extremely long and their usefulness would be compromised.


We're happy to try to help out with particular examples. However, some of the phrases you mention could refer to a range of structures, however. For example, can be used to introduce an example (I want to get a friendly dog, such as a golden retriever or a labrador) or to introduce a particular type of comparison (It was not such a difficult conversation as I had imagined).


If you have any questions about the phrases you mentioned then please provide an example sentence and we'll be happy to comment on it. That way we can be sure that we are addressing the issue you have and not some other use.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by sihamkaddouri on Mon, 09/03/2020 - 09:19

Hi, I can't make différence between us if and us though, should you help me please? Thanks
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 09/03/2020 - 13:10

In reply to by sihamkaddouri


Hello sihamkaddouri

There is no real difference in meaning between 'as if' and 'as though' -- they mean the same thing and are used in the same way. The only real difference is that 'as if' is a little more informal than 'as though'.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mimijoy on Fri, 21/02/2020 - 11:14

There is joy in learning

Submitted by Vincent_MARTIN… on Tue, 11/02/2020 - 08:07

Hello, I look like Sanja! I don't get the subtelties about "as if" and "as though", "like" and "such as"! Could you give me more details? Many thanks.
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Tue, 11/02/2020 - 11:06

In reply to by Vincent_MARTIN…


Hello Vincent

We're happy to help you if you have any specific questions that you have about this grammar. Studying the grammar and discovering what you find difficult will be helpful for you, and will also allow you to ask questions that we can more effectively answer.

Best wishes


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Azinha on Thu, 06/02/2020 - 08:23

I will try my best to not repeatedly do error again when I have to use "as and like". It is fabulous.

Submitted by Sanja on Wed, 05/02/2020 - 22:44

I was confused about "as if" and "as though", but now, after your explanation, I understand. Thank you.