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  1. #1

    such as vs like

    He does well in subjects like history and philosophy.
    He does well in subjects such as history and philosophy.

    which one of the sentences is correct?

    thanks

  2. Steven D's Avatar
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    English Teacher

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
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    #2

    Re: such as vs like

    Quote Originally Posted by mengta
    He does well in subjects like history and philosophy.
    He does well in subjects such as history and philosophy.

    which one of the sentences is correct?

    thanks
    They're both correct. They both mean "for example". [However, we are not usually able ot use "for example" as a direct replacement for either one.] Using "such as" might sound more formal. That's not to say it has to be part of formal speaking. Neither is this to say that "like" is only spoken in what we could say are "informal" contexts.

    "Such as" just sounds ... well ... a little bit more serious in tone. This is a detail. However, this combined with other details might make you come across as more well spoken. It depends on who's listening and how much they pay attention to how you speak. You should really be comfortable using both "like" and "such as".

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...ike*6+0&dict=A

    By the way, did someone tell you that only one of them was correct? If so, which one was it?

    Last edited by Steven D; 19-Jul-2005 at 20:49.

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    #3

    Re: such as vs like

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven D View Post
    They're both correct. They both mean "for example". [However, we are not usually able ot use "for example" as a direct replacement for either one.] Using "such as" might sound more formal. That's not to say it has to be part of formal speaking. Neither is this to say that "like" is only spoken in what we could say are "informal" contexts.

    "Such as" just sounds ... well ... a little bit more serious in tone. This is a detail. However, this combined with other details might make you come across as more well spoken. It depends on who's listening and how much they pay attention to how you speak. You should really be comfortable using both "like" and "such as".

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

    By the way, did someone tell you that only one of them was correct? If so, which one was it?

    I was taught that "such as" would be the correct form in this case. As I understood it (and continue to use it), the word "like" should be restricted to simile; e.g. "This reads like a history textbook" or "She grinned like the Cheshire cat," in other words, comparing one thing to another, dissimilar thing; whereas "...subjects such as history and philosophy..." *includes* those subjects and several others, rather than comparing them. Does that make sense? I've lived with the rule so long that I'm actually finding it difficult to articulate the difference! If it helps, I am actually a professional editor with an excellent command of both written and spoken English, though that doesn't mean that such command is utterly flawless -- far from it!

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