Have you ever wanted to talk about similarities between people or things but were unsure what words to use?Today’s question comes from Nagim of Israel.
Hello from Israel.How can we use “alike” and “like”?These two words are very difficult for me.
Hello, Nagim, and thanks for asking a teacher!
The words “alike” and “like” are easy to confuse.We use both to show similarities between people or things.They also sound alike.
Did you see how I used the word “alike”?I used it as an adverb.
“Alike” can be an adverb or an adjective.
As an adverb, it means “in a similar way.”We use it after an action verb – a verb that expresses physical or mental action.Here is an example that is also a popular expression:
Great minds think alike.
It means that very intelligent people have the same ideas at the same time.
Teens sometimes try to dress alike.
One other meaning for the adverb "alike" is “both.”We use it to talk about two individual people or things or two groups of people or things:
Students and teachers alike can listen to Ask a Teacher.
For this meaning, notice that the word “alike” comes after the two groups – students and teachers.
As an adjective, “alike” means “similar in appearance, nature or form.”We use it after linking verbs, such as “be,” “look” and “sound.”
Let’s hear some examples.
You and your brother are so much alike!
Those sports cars look alike.They’re the same shape and color.
My mom and I sound alike on the phone.
Now, let’s talk about “like.”The main meaning we are talking about today is as a preposition.It means “similar to” and comes before a noun or pronoun object.Here are some examples:
You are just like your brother.
This sports car looks a lot like that one.
I sound like my mom on the phone.
We can use the preposition “like” for all five senses.
The use of "like" that often confuses English learners is as a conjunction.When a conjunction, “like” means “as if” or “as though” and is informal.
Here’s how that sounds:The plane felt like it was going to crash!
It means that the plane felt as if it were going to crash.There was probably a lot of turbulence, for example.
But, avoid this use in formal writing.
And that’s Ask a Teacher.
I’m Alice Bryant.