'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

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Average: 4.7 (6 votes)

Hello Dianarosedi,

We use 'like' to mean 'similar to' or 'in a similar way to'. We use 'as' to mean 'in the same way' or 'in place of'.

In your example, the jacket is not just used in a similar way to a pillow; it effectively becomes the pillow. You are using it in exactly the same way as a pillow. Really, you are making a pillow out of your jacket, so 'as' is the best option.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by a1itofigh on Tue, 28/06/2022 - 06:30

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I really appreciate you. Good job.

Submitted by MR.ALABBAS on Tue, 17/05/2022 - 04:59

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it is great helpful lesson thanks a lot

Submitted by Solomon Dawud … on Sun, 15/05/2022 - 09:41

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It was very helpful as though I have never tested my English level tests.

Submitted by Duclkbgvcp on Mon, 25/04/2022 - 15:32

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Hi sir, I know this is Off-topic but
Do you know the difference between 'How do you feel' and 'What do you think'?
Thank you.

Hi Duclkbgvcp,

There is a difference in their literal meaning. 'How do you feel?' asks about feelings/emotions, and 'What do you think?' asks about thoughts/ideas. However, in everyday communication, people often use both questions in the same way - when they want to know the other person's reaction or view generally, no matter whether it involves feelings or thoughts.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Yes, I think" how do you feel?" is when asking about feelings and answer will be a degree of feeling like good, bad, better, sad, gappy...etc
On the other hand, what

The difference between feel and think is like the difference between the heart and the brain .
We feel inside our soul but we thinking by our brain .

Submitted by Panassum on Sun, 03/04/2022 - 18:16

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Dear teaching team,
I'm a little bit confused about the example "You look as if you've seen a ghost". Why it isn't "... as if YOU'D seen a ghost". It's an unreal past action, isn't it?

Hello Panassum,

The conjunction 'as if' does not introduce a condition. It introduces a comparison in the same way that 'like' does. Thus, we are not describing a hypothetical situation but rather a point of comparison and the present perfect form is correct: this is how a person looks who has just seen a ghost.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team