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 Anara SN on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 07:26

Thank you for your course, it really helps me to improve my grammar skills. Now I know how and when to use 'as and like' difference of them. My English grammar not as good as I thought. I'll work hard on my general English as I can.

Submitted by Cecilio Franzoni on Sat, 14/11/2020 - 17:35

As you know you are very important for me.

Submitted by Unicorn on Sun, 01/11/2020 - 15:21

Thank you for providing these excercises. I just started practising my English skills.

Submitted by Karim.Karim on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 12:00

I think (As and Like) are important as we use them everyday in our daily life. Thank you
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Submitted by jake488154 on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 07:44

It's so useful for me in learning English grammar. I really appreciate it.

Submitted by Khin Myint Hlaing on Mon, 05/10/2020 - 17:10

Thanks, Tr.

Submitted by LilyLinSZ on Fri, 02/10/2020 - 12:39

Hi teacher, May I know the difference between "as appropriate", "when appropriate", "where appropriate" and "if appropriate"? Thanks so much.

Submitted by Tawhid on Tue, 29/09/2020 - 06:56

I can't ignore anyone. Both are highly important. This type of question for me like, Who is the greatest? Mother or Father.I don't care this type of question. Is In this context the use of "like" correct?And if have there any different errors,correct me please. Hope to hear from you.