A question from Arif Kizilay from Turkey:
I have a question - can you please answer it for me? What's the difference between as such, and such as? Thank you.
'Such as' and 'as such'
Alex Gooch answers:
Hi Arif - thanks for your question. These two phrases, as such and such as, look similar, but in fact their meanings are very different.
As such has two meanings. The first is quite difficult to explain, so let's look at an example. I could say,
I'm an English teacher, and because I'm an English teacher I hate to see grammar mistakes.
Another way to say this, with the same meaning, is like this:
I'm an English teacher, and as an English teacher I hate to see grammar mistakes.
However, in this sentence I'm saying the words 'an English teacher' twice. An easier way to say it is like this:
I'm an English teacher, and as such I hate to see grammar mistakes.
In this example, we use the word such to represent the words 'an English teacher', the second time it appears. Here are some similar examples. You could say:
She's an athlete, and as such she has to train very hard.
The film was a romance, and as such it had the usual happy ending.
We can also use as such to mean something like 'exactly' in a sentence like this:
The shop doesn't sell books as such, but it does sell magazines and newspapers.
Magazines and newspapers are similar to books, but they are not exactly books. Or:
He isn't American as such, but he's spent most of his life there.
Spending most of your life in America is similar to being American, but it isn't exactly the same as being American.
Such as is much easier; it has the same meaning as 'like' or 'for example' (but not exactly the same grammar, so be careful there!). We use it in sentences like this:
There are lots of things to see in London, such as the Tower of London, the London Eye and St. Paul's Cathedral.
Many countries in Europe, such as France and Germany, use Euros.
Alex Gooch has been an English teacher for ten years. He has taught in Poland and Switzerland, and more recently he's been teaching in various universities in the UK.
Audio - Download the answer (mp3 - 898 kb)
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