I don't understand what 'as in' means or how to use it. For example"

"savory as in"Which do you prefer, sweet foods or savory foods?"

In this context, what does "as in " mean and where does it modify savory foods?

  • 2
    It simply means that the following phrase is an example of how the word is being used. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 14:10
  • @Mitch OK. Might be a candidate to go elsewhere, though.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 15:37
  • @AndrewLeach as in ELL?
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 15:40
  • @Mitch I can't see how as and in have anything but their normal meanings.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 16:29
  • @AndrewLeach Yes, I agree it is not idiomatic. But it does feel opaque somehow. If someone is asking, then it's not obvious. To say it is GenRef is an answer of sorts.
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


'As in' doesn't modify anything; it is an idiom combining two prepositions: 'as' which makes a comparison, and 'in' which identifies a subset. The quoted question after 'as in' serves as a noun phrase (because it is in quotes), and it contains the words being compared.

'As' can also be used as a conjunction [of comparison], but then neither the quotes or the combination with 'in' would be appropriate.

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