SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “SUCH AS” AND “LIKE” IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Similarity And Difference Between “such As” And “like” In English Language…

Have you ever been in a situation where you are confused about whether to use such as or like to mean for example? Weve all been there, so dont panic. The salient question is: which is appropriate?

Writers have tried to break these similar words down for easy identification, but it seems the more they try, the less simplified the words become. So, lets just simplify them once and for all.

Such as is used to introduce a direct example or series of examples, and it is more formal. Like is also used for example(s), but its less formal, and not specific. A bit confusing? This is what I mean: such as simply means exactly this/these, while like means similar to this/these.

Lets use these examples to simplify our explanation:

1. I want a lot of grains like rice, barley, and millet.
2. I want a lot of grains, such as rice, barley, and millet.
3. They intend travelling to peaceful countries like France and Canada.
4. They intend travelling to peaceful countries, such as France and Canada.

Examples 1 implies that the speaker wants grains, but not necessarily rice, barley, and milletor even none of them, but others in their category; 2 simply gives the exact grains the speaker was, and maybe some others. In the same vein, 3 shows similar peaceful countries they intend to go, while 4 shows they intend to go to France and Canada, and maybe other peaceful countries.
However, such as and like can be used interchangeably.

Examples:
1. Contemporary footballers like Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are agile and skillful.
2.Contemporary footballers, such as Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, are agile and skillful.
3. A muscular wrestler like Brock Lesnar should win all his fights.
4. A muscular wrestler such as Brock Lesnar should win all his fights.

Examples 1 and 3 show similarities, while 2 and 4 are emphases.

Note: use commas before such as and after the last item on the list of examples(as in 2 above).
This is the point: both such as and like can be used to give examples and are both appropriate (though the former is more formal), but dont use like when you want to be specific or such as when youre expressing comparisons or similarities.

7 Comments

Leave a Reply