Sunday, October 23, 2011

Confusing words - Comparison with as and like

The uses of as and like are often confused.
Try and sort them out by doing these quizzes.

  1. Matching quiz - sentences with as and like
  2. Complete the rules
  3. Different uses of as - multiple choice quiz
  4. Choose between as and like, gapfill quiz
  5. Verbs of sensation with like and as if
  6. Complete the rules
  7. Idioms with as ... as ... - quiz
  8. Idioms with like ... - quiz

Click and Drop where you see this symbol mouse over it for instructions


Ex. 1 - Match the two halves of these sentences

1. She looks just likea)as a mansion.
2. She looks just asb)she did the time I last saw her.
3. My sister works in Parisc)her mother.
4. I'm also a designer,d)he started to get his things ready.
5. As he was getting off at the next station,e)like a mansion.
6. As he was getting off the train,f)like my sister.
7. Their new house isg)as a designer.
8. Their new house is as bigh)he saw his cousin coming to meet him.

In which sentence in Ex. 1 could you change as to like in informal language?

Complete the rules

Ex 2. - as and like are both used to make comparisons. Look at the examples in Ex 1. and decide which of them you use:

like   ·   as
1.before a clause
2.before a clause expressing similarity (more informal)
3.before a noun (phrase) or pronoun express equality before and after adjectives and adverbs

Different uses of as

Ex 3. Choose the appropriate use of as in these sentences.

1She arrived at the house just as the postman was leaving.
in the same way as - while - job or function - because, since
2She started as a trainee, and worked her way up.
job or function - because, since - in the same way as - while
3I only meant it as a joke.
since - while - job or function - though
4I'm going to the shops, as we haven't anything in the fridge.
though - while - because, since - in the same way as
5You should have left things as they were.
in the same way as - job or function - while - because, since
6Pleased as I was to see him, I wish he had let us know earlier.
because, since - job or function - in the same way as - though
7Since you don't have a scarf, you could wear this as one.
in the same way as - while - though - job or function
8Well as you're here, why don't you stay for lunch?
in the same way as - though - because, since - job or function
9As she got to know him, she began to understand him better.
while - because, since - though - job or function
10As she had known him for a long time, she understood him well.
in the same way as - job or function - because, since - though
11As I said, she's totally hopeless.
since - while - job or function - in the same way as
12It just appeared there, as if by magic.
job or function - in the same way as - while - because, since

Is it like or as?

Ex 4. Complete the sentences with like or as

as   ·   like  
1.He looks just his dad.
2.Late again, that's just her.
3.I'm early again, usual.
4.Well, I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me.
5.Don't you talk to me that!
6.He works a horse, never stops all day.
7.He works a mechanic at the local garage.
8.David often works at home, and uses the spare room an office.
9.The boys room is designed to look the inside of a spacecraft.
10.That's 'a' in apple.
11.A tangerine looks a bit a small orange.

Preposition, conjunction or adverb?

When as and like are followed by a clause, they are conjunctions. The use of like as a conjunction is seen by some as only being appropriate in informal English.
  • She looks just as she did the last time I saw her.
  • You look like you could do with a drink. (informal)
  • You look as if you could do with a drink. (more formal)
When they are followed by a noun or pronoun, they are prepositions.
  • She looks just like her mother.
  • He works as a barman.
As can also be an adverb:
  • He was late, as usual.
  • This one is cheaper, and just as good.
In the expression as ... as the first as is an adverb and the second can be a preposition or a conjunction, depending on whether it is followed by a noun phrase or a clause.
  • She as tall as her brother. (adverb / preposition)
  • He ran as fast as his legs would carry him. (adverb / conjunction)

Ex. 5 - like and as if are often used with certain verbs (taste, smell, feel, look and sound) that describe the senses. Match the beginnings and endings of these sentences.

1. Mmm, this tea tastes reallya)it's made from metal
2. It's quite sweet. It tastes rather likeb)going to rain.
3. These chocolates taste as if they'vec)old socks.
4. Ugh! That smellsd)silk.
5. Phew! This cheese smells likee)it's just been baked.
6. That bread smells as thoughf)honey.
7. After all that walking I feelg)absolutely awful.
8. This material feels likeh)mine.
9. It feels as ifi)delicious.
10. That kitten looksj)really tired.
11. That bicycle looks just likek)so cute.
12. It looks as if it'sl)they're having a party next door.
13. What have you been up to? You soundm)David at the door now.
14. That sounds liken)very pleased with yourself!
15. It sounds as ifo)got alcohol in them.

Ex 6. Complete the rules by selecting the correct options.

noun   ·   clause   ·   adjective
1.verb (e.g. it tastes) + .....
2.verb (e.g. it tastes) + like + .....
3.verb (e.g. it tastes) + as if / though + .....

as if / as though

Note 1 - When talking about something unreal we can use a past tense with present meaning (unreal past). Traditionally this meant using the subjunctive were instead of was. Increasingly in the UK though, this is seen as rather informal and normal indicative is used.
Note 2 - In informal (spoken) English, we very often use like instead of as if / though. Although this is not usually considered to be correct in a more formal register, Paul Brians at Common Errors in English Usage points out that this can sound more natural in informal speech, 'especially with verbs involving perception' (as above). In this case we don't use subjunctive:
  • It looks as if he's asleep. (present real)
  • It looks like he's asleep. (present real)
  • It looked as if he was/were asleep. (past real/unreal)
  • It looked like he was asleep. (past real)
  • She talks as though she was/were the Queen!. (present unreal)
  • She talks like she was the Queen! (present unreal)

Giving examples - like or such as?

Look at these two sentences:
  • German cars, like Mercedes and Audi, are known for their quality.
  • German cars, such as Mercedes and Audi, are known for their quality.
There are some who argue that we shouldn't use like, but only such as for examples. They think that like should be reserved for things which are similar but not included.
  • The 2010 World Cup featured world class players such as Messi and Ronaldo (actual examples)
  • Football could do with more world class players like Messi and Ronaldo (similar to)
Others, like Professor Brians at Common Errors, see this use for examples as a core meaning of like, and its use in this way 'perfectly standard'. Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage and New Fowler's also seem to see its use as perfectly acceptable.

Ex 7. There are a lot of idioms which use as ... as ...

blind   ·   cunning   ·   quiet   ·   stubborn   old   ·   fresh   ·   busy   ·   cool   ·   clear   ·   light
1.As as a bat
2.As as a bee
3.As as a feather
4.As as a mouse
5.As as a fox
6.As as a mule
7.As as a daisy
8.As as the hills
9.As as a bell
10.As as a cucumber

Ex 8. There are also quite a few idioms with like.

drinks   ·   bull   ·   red   ·   eats   ·   sore head   ·   eyes   ·   slept   ·   memory
1.Watch out for the boss, she's got like a hawk.
2.He like a horse. And a carthorse at that.
3.Haven't you heard? She like a fish.
4.I feel wonderful this morning. I like a log.
5.I wish I could tell you, but I've got a like a sieve.
6.Mentioning his ex-girlfriend is like a rag to a bull.
7.He's so clumsy, he's like a in a china shop.
8.Oh, I feel like a bear with a today.

Answers to the exercises

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