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 (52 votes)

Submitted by Mr. Mohmmad on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 20:33

I think this lesson was a bit confused to me but it has been cleared for me , and that's because the explanation and the examples were interesting.

Submitted by BereniceHdzO on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 04:02

The information on the page is very good and helps with any questions that may arise. I looked for topics of report speech and as and like, without a doubt it gave me good information and grammar

Submitted by IvanGranados11 on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 02:26

This article was very interesting to me because the way it explains this topic, in the same way the activity was made as correct as possible to explain the topic to us.

Submitted by Paola Pérez Cerón on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 20:59

I was a little confused about this topic, but now I totally understand how I can use this two Woods.

Submitted by julianneitzel on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 06:23

These articles helped me to learn differences between "like and as", their examples are very clear and brief. All right!

Submitted by Guillermo Lozano on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 00:15

I like the way they explain the topics. They do it in an easy and simple way, with easy examples that you can use in any situation. The tests really help you to reinforce the knowledge since they are easy and very practical.

Submitted by franciscobo on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 19:38

very good page to study english and practice it

Submitted by Kaisoo93 on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 07:15

Hello Teachers, "AI can perform better than human, 1) it is not emotional as human do" 2) it is not emotional like human" 3) it is not emotional as human be" which one(s) is correct? Thanks

Hello Kaisoo93

It's strange to use 'as' here, since really AI is not emotional at all; if you use 'as', it implies that AI can experience emotions at least a little bit. The second sentence could be correct, but please note you'd need to change 'human' to 'humans'.

What I'd recommend is something like 'AI performs better than humans because it is not emotional like humans are' or 'AI performs better than humans because it is not impeded by emotions'.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team