In the phrase "business as usual", is "as" considered an adverb, a conjunction, or a preposition? (Why?)

Wiktionary on "as" as adverb:

  1. In the manner or role specified.
    The kidnappers released him as agreed.

Wiktionary on "as" as conjunction:

  1. Introducing a basis of comparison, after as, so, or a comparison of equality.
    She's twice as strong as I was two years ago.
    It's not so complicated as I expected.

Wiktionary on "as" as preposition:

  1. Introducing a basis of comparison, with an object in the objective case.
    You are not as tall as me.
    They're big as houses.

As I see the phrase, it's comparing or equating "business" with "usual", which leads me to consider this a conjunction. A friend of mine who I was discussing this with thinks it's more akin to an adverb due to the words it's describing. Maybe it can be considered either or any of these? I'm not a native English speaker and this seems like a grammar technical question that's out of my depth, but I am curious, hence my asking for input here. :)

  • What are your arguments for the three cases? Do you have any references? There's the makings of an interesting question here... Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 10:47
  • 1
    @marcellothearcane I added some of the research and thoughts I have done prior to making the question here. Thanks for the comment! :)
    – Freso
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 11:05
  • I would call it a preposition in all those examples, but you’ll get different opinions from different people… Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 11:46
  • It should be noted that "as usual" is an idiom. "Business" is only one of many things that might be "as usual".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 12:35
  • @HotLicks I don't think that qualifies it as an idiom. "as usual" is a cliche for sure, but it's being used in its literal sense. Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


As can be used in the following ways:

1) as a conjunction (connecting two clauses): As I was leaving, the phone rang. The results were not as bad as I had expected.

2) as a preposition (followed by a noun): He works as a waiter.

3)as an adverb (followed by an adjective, an adverb, or a word such as ‘much’ or ‘many’): Nylon is cheaper than leather, and it’s just as strong.

In this case, "as" in "business as usual" is considered as an adverb. Why? because usual is an adjective.

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