Like or Such As

Although the terms like and such as are often used interchangeably, they do have slightly different functions. Formally, at least, these differences still matter.

Here are the classic definitions:

  • Use like to compare something you’ve mentioned to an example or examples.
  • Use such as to show that the example is representative of a category.

But there’s an easier way to remember:

  • Like shows a relation. (X is compared to A, B, and C.)
  • Such as gives specific examples without comparing. (A, B, and C are types of X.)

I’ll show you what I mean:

  • Sally wants to be a famous cook like Julia Childs and Emeril. (Sally compares herself to the cooks.)
  • Many famous cooks, such as Julia Childs and Emeril, have inspired Sally. (There’s no comparison; the two cooks are examples of the ones who inspired Sally.)

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