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)
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Submitted by dipakrgandhi on Fri, 20/01/2023 - 06:02


I didn't find a relevant section, and so putting my question here.
I am solving a crossword. I am to find a 5 letter word for deliberate. The word I get from internet search is 'Meant', and it fits in there.
I have tried to search how 'deliberate' can be a synonym of 'meant', but I have not got the answer for this. Even dictionary shows 'meant' as a synonym of 'deliberate', but it doesn't give account of it. And when I look for 'Meant' in dictionary, it shows me meaning of 'Mean' - there is no meaning like 'Deliberate' in it.

Please explain how deliberate and meant are synonymous.

Hello dipakrgandhi,

In certain contexts we can use 'meant' as a synonym of 'deliberate':

> It wasn't a mistake - it was deliberate.
> It wasn't a mistake - it was meant.

The meaning is something like 'intended' here. However, in most sentences you would need to change the construction a little and use 'meant' in a phrase such as 'meant to (verb)' or 'what I meant'.

The LearnEnglish Team

That is a good explanation. You have used 'Meant' as an adjective in your example. However, I found no entry for 'Meant' as an adjective in 2-3 online dictionaries I searched. But your example is very convincing.
Thank you
Dipak Gandhi

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Submitted by Daniel391 on Mon, 16/01/2023 - 20:54


Thanks for this article.

Submitted by gasparmartinez on Wed, 11/01/2023 - 23:47


It's been a long time since I practice my english and I figured out that I'm rusty as a old chain

Hello Kugumaa,

One day we may try to do this, but I'm afraid we are very busy with other work right now, so our grammar sections won't have PDFs anytime soon.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ilianny_Alexis on Sun, 04/12/2022 - 21:39


A few days ago my English level wasn't as good as today is.