“As” and “Like” are easily mixed up by Spanish students, since they both can be translated as “como” and they are both used to compare actions and situations. However, there are a number of relevant differences as we will see below.
Uses of “as”
- To talk about positions or functions, for instance, Mary worked as a teacher in St. Leonard’s High School for six years/As a father, it is my duty to look after my children
- In comparatives, when the two objects we compare are equal, for example Mark is as tall as his father now. Similarly, it is used with the expression “as much as”: Study as much as you can to get good marks
- When we talk about the way something is similar to something else. In this case “as” is a conjunction and has to be followed by a subject and a verb: He drives very carefully, as I always try to do/Tim wants to be a doctor, as his grandfather was
- In certain expressions like “as you know”, “as you suggest”
Uses of “Like”
- “Like” is more common in comparisons, used as a preposition. Examples: He has been working like a slave recently and he is not taking any credit for it/France is a beautiful country, like Italy or Spain
- Similarly, it often goes with sense verbs (sound, taste, look, feel, smell). Examples: Your perfume smells like oranges/That sounds like a firecracker
- To give examples: I study the History of Asian countries, like China, Korea or Japan.
Sometimes “as” and “like” can both be used as conjunctions in comparisons, having a very similar meaning (although “as” is slightly more formal):
- Nobody teaches maths as she does
- Nobody teaches maths like she does
We hope this clarifies, now it is your turn to put it into practice:
For more English tips, take a look to the posts below 😉