Feb 23

Sloppy Writing 101.05: Like I really need your help

Pop quiz. These five sentences have something in common. Which ones are not correct?

1. It’s not like I had many close friends.
2. The school parking lot looked like every other one around town.
3. I wished I had hair like that.
4. Everyone wore big smiles and looked like they were having fun.
5. I smiled like a beauty queen.

I have a problem with like. Two problems actually. But the first problem relates to the sentences above.

The incorrect ones:
1. It’s not like I had many close friends.
4. Everyone wore big smiles and looked like they were having fun.

The problem is like versus as. I didn’t know there was a difference between when you used them. But you use as when it’s followed by a verb, and like when it is not. So I would change #1 and #4.

1. It’s not as if I had many close friends.
4. Everyone wore big smiles and looked as if they were having fun.

I’ve gone through and changed all the necessary likes to as in my manuscripts. The only exceptions would be in dialogue, because sometimes using as sounds too formal, especially for a teenager.

My other problem is when like is used as a synonym for enjoy/love. I have way too many likes and need to come up with some other words. But I’m in luck; apparently, they have this cool thing called a thesaurus where I can find some other great words!

So pay attention to your like vs. as and make sure you don’t overuse like like me.

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