Difference Between As and Like

As vs Like
 

As and Like are two words that are often confused due to the striking similarity in their usage and meanings, without paying any attention to the difference between the two words. Most of us are used to substituting one for the other as if there is no difference. The confusion mainly arises when they are used in comparisons. But, in fact, they are used in comparisons with a difference, which will be discussed later on in this article.

What does As mean?

The word as is indicative of the sense of ‘in the role of.’ In other words, the word as is used when we want to talk about a function or a job as in the sentence given below.

He earned a good name as a writer.

From this sentence, you get the meaning that ‘he earned a good name in the role of a writer’. Observe the following sentences too,

He earned good money as a freelancer.

He is selected as the best off spinner.

In the first sentence, the revised meaning would be ‘he earned good money in the role of a freelancer’. The second sentence can be rewritten as ‘he is selected in the role of the best off spinner’.

Other than the above use, the word as is also used in comparisons. However, the way as is employed in comparison is different to that of like. There are two methods of using as in comparisons.

01. As adjective as method (this is often used)

He is as fat as an elephant.

Her tea is as sweet as nectar.

02. Using ‘as’ as a conjunction method.

He became a priest, as his brother had before him.

She was a skilful dancer, as her mother was before her.

What does Like mean?

On the other hand, the word like is used in the sense of ‘similarity’ as in the sentence given below.

Her face appeared beautiful like the moon.

In this sentence, the beauty of her face is compared to that of the moon in the aspect of similarity. Hence, the word like is used in the sense of similarity. In other words, it can be said that the word ‘like’ is denotative of comparison. It is normally used in comparisons. Observe the sentences given below:

He runs like a cheetah.

She sings like a nightingale.

In both the sentences mentioned above, the word like is used denotative of similarity arising out of comparison. In the first sentence, he is compared to a cheetah in terms of speed. In the second sentence, she is compared to a nightingale in terms of the sweet voice. Her voice is similar to that of a nightingale. This is the reason why the word like is used in the sentence.

If you carefully observe the above given examples, you will realize that when like is used in comparison the word like is always followed by a noun or a pronoun. That is not the way as is used in comparisons.

Difference Between As and Like

What is the difference between As and Like?

• The word as is indicative of the sense of ‘in the role of.’ In other words, the word as is used when we want to talk about a function or a job.

• On the other hand, the word like is used in the sense of ‘similarity.’

• Both words, as and like, are used in comparisons.

• However, when like is used in comparison, it is always followed by a noun or a pronoun.

• When as is used in comparison, it either follows ‘as adjective as’ method or conjunction method.

These are the differences between the two words, namely, as and like.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Like image by HauntedAngel26 (CC BY-ND 3.0)