Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Helps for Better Writing (Part 6 of 11)

6. When do I use like, and when is as correct?

This battle has probably been lost, but here's the rule anyway. As far as I can tell, like came with the hipsters in the 1950s. They used the word to introduce their feelings or perceptions. When I learned I had won the contest, I was like, overwhelmed. When I saw the man with the gun, I was like, running for cover.

But here's the rule of grammar: Like doesn't introduce a clause (with a subject and verb), because it is a preposition. Instead, use as or as if. The plan succeeded as we hoped; however, other plans like it have failed. Did you notice as introduced the subject (we) and the verb (hoped)?

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