I don't know how to properly connect the first three words of this sentence to the rest of the sentence:

Like I said: this is a problem for your doctor, not your drug dealer.

I feel like that colon is incorrect punctuation. Should it be replaced with a comma? Or should I use some other punctuation?

  • Are you asking about as vs like - as in the title, or the punctuation, as in the question? Sep 11, 2016 at 6:46
  • The punctuation. I'm assuming the punctuation is the same for both, which is why I included both. Sorry, I'll make that more clear in the question.
    – kdbanman
    Sep 11, 2016 at 7:09
  • The colon is not incorrect, though a dash would be less dated. A comma would also not be incorrect, but would conflict slightly with the second one. Sep 11, 2016 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


b. In some cases a person's exact words may be treated as either a direct or an indirect quotation, depending on the kind of emphasis desired.

The chairman himself said, “The staff should be told at once that the rumors about a new building have no foundation." [The use of quotation marks emphasizes that these are the chairman's exact words.]

The chairman himself said the staff should be told at once that the rumors about a new building have no foundation. [Without quotation marks, the emphasis falls on the message itself. The fact that the chairman used these exact words is not important]

—Gregg Reference Manual. Tenth Edition. 65.

Also, use and instead of the comma for parallel structure: "...for your doctor and not (for) your drug dealer"


Like I said, this is a problem for your doctor and not your drug dealer.


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