Sunday, November 23, 2008

Like and as -- one a preposition, the other a conjunction

"Tennessee junior Tyler Smith takes it all in stride, like one would expect from a veteran."
-- from the Knoxville News Sentinel, 11/20/08

Our local paper often uses the colloquial "like" as a preposition, much as it uses adjectives for adverbs, especially, but not always, in quotes. ("We play different.") This is probably to appear more accessible and friendly to its (ever-shrinking number of) readers, but in cases like the one above, it can be fairly jarring.

From Ruge Rules:
The Rule: Like is a preposition; as is a conjunction.
If the comparison is between two persons or things, use like.
If the comparison is between two ways of doing something or between two states or conditions, us as, as if, or just as.

Like me, he plays the piano. (We both play the piano.)

He plays the piano just as I do. (He plays the piano in the same manner that I do.)

No comments: