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MISUSED ENGLISH WORDS > Aggravating, Irritating > Both, Each, Every > Continual, Continuous > Decided, Decisive > Existing, Extant > First, Second, Secondly > Good, Well > Human, Humane > Identity, Identification > Learn, Teach > Materialize, Appear > Negligence, Neglect > Observation, Observance > Prescribe, Proscribe > Relationship, Relation > Sewage, Sewerage > Transpire, Happen > Union, Unity > Visitant, Visitor > Show ALL


LIKE, AS

In good use like is never a conjunction, and therefore it cannot be used instead of as to introduce a clause.

It is incorrect to say, "Walk like I walk," but one may say, "He walks like me," or "He looks like his grandfather."

MORE EXAMPLES:

Incorrect Uses of Like. — The word like should never be used to connect two clauses.

In the sentence, He rides just like (as) the old troopers used to ride, "like" is incorrectly used as a subordinating connective in place of "as."

Should the verb in the subordinate clause be omitted, leaving the word "trooper" a substantive part of the principal clause, the adverb "like" would then need to be substituted for the adverbial connective "as."

In constructions of this sort, "like," though it is either adjective or adverb, is used with the force of a preposition, governing the objective case of the noun or pronoun following.

The use of like for as if is even worse than its use for as. In the sentence, He acted like (as if) he was (were) angry, not only is "like" incorrectly used as a connective, but it also fails to express the true relation between the clauses. By expanding the above abridged conditional sentence into the equivalent sentence, He acts as he would act if he were angry, we can easily see that "like" does not express the necessary relation of comparison and condition which the double connective "as if " expresses. The sentence should read, He acts as if he were angry.


MISUSED ENGLISH WORDS > Aggravating, Irritating > Both, Each, Every > Continual, Continuous > Decided, Decisive > Existing, Extant > First, Second, Secondly > Good, Well > Human, Humane > Identity, Identification > Learn, Teach > Materialize, Appear > Negligence, Neglect > Observation, Observance > Prescribe, Proscribe > Relationship, Relation > Sewage, Sewerage > Transpire, Happen > Union, Unity > Visitant, Visitor > Show ALL




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