Like vs. As

Like is one of those verbs which are not usually used in progressive forms.

  • ‘What do you think of the film?’ ‘I like it.’ (NOT I am liking it.)

Like cannot normally be used without an object.

  • ‘Do you like ballet?’ ‘Yes, I like it.’ (NOT — I like.)

Like can be followed by object + verb forms.

  • I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Not like to can mean be unwilling to.

  • I didn’t like to disturb him.

Would like

The conditional would like (+ infinitive) is common in requests and offers. It is used as a polite way of saying want.

  • Would you like to come with us?
  • I would like some cheese, please.

Like and as

We can use like or as to say that things are similar.


We use like before a noun or pronoun. It is similar to a preposition.

  • She looks like her mother. (NOT She looks as her mother.)
  • He ran like the wind.

We can use very, quite and other adverbs of degree to modify like.

  • She is very like her mother.


As is a conjunction. It is used before a clause, and before an expression beginning with a preposition.

  • Nobody loves her as I do.
  • Do as I do.

In informal English like is often used as a conjunction instead of as. This is common in American English.

  • Nobody loves her like I do.

Another use of as is to say what function or role a person or thing has – what jobs people do, what purposes things are used for, etc. In this case, as is used like a preposition, before a noun.

  • He escaped from prison dressed as a woman.
  • He worked as a waiter for two years.
  • We think of Napoleon as a soldier and as a statesman.

Compare this use of as with like.

  • As your brother, I must warn you to be careful. (I am your brother.)
  • Like your brother, I must warn you to be careful. (I am not your brother, but he and I have similar attitudes.)

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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