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Unit 1: English In A Minute
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Session 50

Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

Activity 1

Like & As

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? Tim tells it like it is, as only he can, about the difference between like and as! Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English!

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Hi! I'm Tim from BBC Learning English, here to tell you about two words we use to say that things are similar.

We use like as a preposition before a noun or pronoun, and it means 'similar to'. He ran like the wind. Not: He ran as the wind.

We use like, and not as, to compare appearances. This house looks like a castle.

As can be used as a preposition. It means 'in the role of'. Dan, as your friend I have to say you're not a good singer.

We often use as to talk about people's jobs. I work as an actor.

Be careful using like and as because the meaning can change: As your brother, I'll try to help you means 'I actually am your brother'. Change it to like, and it means 'I'm not your brother but I want to act in a similar way'. 


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EIAM Teaser 6mingram_li_3_like_verb_preposition.jpg tims_pron_11_YT.jpg______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Like and As

Like is used as a preposition before a noun or pronoun. It means 'similar to'. We can use it to compare appearances (or other senses).

  • He ran like the wind.
  • She sings like an angel.
  • You look just like your mother.
  • That sounds like the bus.

can be used as a preposition. It means 'in the role of'. We often use it to talk about people's jobs.

  • As your friend, I have to say you can't sing.
  • I used my newspaper as an umbrella when it rained.
  • I work as an actor.
  • I've never produced a report as a journalist before.


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