Does the following correctly express the difference between "as" vs. "like" in this context?

As in the previous week, Jimmy climbed the tree.

Jimmy climbed the tree and he also did it one week earlier.

Jimmy climbed the tree like in the previous week.

Jimmy climbed the tree and he did it the same way one week earlier.

  • Why do you think there's a difference between like and as when used that way? What are you thinking this alleged difference is? Ordering isn't going to matter here; consider “Just like he did the week before, Jimmy climbed the tree” as well as “Jimmy climbed the tree today, just as he had done every week since Christmas.” Those are all the same as both yours, which are also the same as each other.
    – tchrist
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 23:56
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the subject has been covered exhaistively on EL&U, witness the comment supplying numerous duplicates.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 0:20
  • I have read all the "duplicate" links (now deleted?) and all the blog links and it did not answer my question.
    – Phira
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


I think your second example is incorrect. You could say "Jimmy climbed the tree like the way he did last week," or "Jimmy climbed a tree like the one he climbed last week." A lot of native English speakers use "like" (incorrectly) where "as" is grammatically correct, and your last example sounds more like one of those cases. Here is a fairly good explanation.

  • 1
    Please edit your answer to include any needed material from the link into your answer itself so that you don't make people chase elsewhere. It has to be stand-alone. Also, how can native speakers use it “incorrectly”? What does that even mean?
    – tchrist
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 0:10
  • I'll try to improve the answer later tonight or tomorrow. I won't reprise debates over grammar versus how people actually speak (which would far exceed the length of a comment, and, frankly, I drift across both sides of that fence), but in increasing numbers, people are using "like" where a grammarian will specify "as". Some will grumble about an increase in illiteracy, and others that the language is evolving. Either way, my point - admittedly made in haste - is that grammar says "like" is wrong in non-comparative context, while a lot of people keep using it that way.
    – wordragon
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 2:33
  • What's a grammarian? Is that some special kind of linguist who thinks they get to tell other people how they're allowed to use language? Sounds sketchy to me. Sounds more like a mean kindergarten teacher than an actual linguist to me. Linguists study language; they're not cops.
    – tchrist
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 2:37
  • I don't disagree with you, but we do manage to follow enough rules to understand each other, even when the cops aren't around. This is one of them - like most, used and ignored, as people see fit.
    – wordragon
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 2:49

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