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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    like my father / like my father does

    Which of the following sentences sounds natural?
    Thank you for reading.

    I would like to be a doctor and examine patients like my father. He is a doctor, too.

    I would like to be a doctor and treat patients like my father does.
    Last edited by aficionado; 10-Aug-2019 at 17:02.

  2. Senior Member
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    #2

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    "Like" is a preposition; it should not introduce a clause with a verb. You really should say "as my father does" or "like my father". In this case, "as my father does" is perfect -- the "does" puts the emphasis back on "treats", which is what you want. Your first sentence is fine as well.

    You'll probably hear someone say that "like X <does something>" is acceptable English. It's quite true that this is a perfectly common construction. But it's one of the best possible indicators of marginal illiteracy. Don't let it become a habit!
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  3. VIP Member
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    #3

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    You'll probably hear someone say that "like X <does something>" is acceptable English. It's quite true that this is a perfectly common construction. But it's one of the best possible indicators of marginal illiteracy. Don't let it become a habit!
    I am old and old--fashioned enough to use 'as', but I have heard and seen 'like' used often by people who are far from illiterate, marginally or otherwise.

  4. Senior Member
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    #4

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    People will say all sorts of things.

    I strongly believe it's a terrible construction to put in writing, however.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    You'll probably hear someone say that "like X <does something>" is acceptable English. It's quite true that this is a perfectly common construction. But it's one of the best possible indicators of marginal illiteracy.
    Do you feel similarly strongly about its use in casual speech?

    I consider it quite acceptable and in fact use it in my own speech. For this reason, I also teach it as correct usage. I wouldn't describe myself as marginally illiterate.

    I agree that it's not appropriate in certain written registers, of course.

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    #6

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    Casual speech is casual speech. I have few strong opinions about it. I've said "ain't", many times, and the occasional "like" when I mean "as", and all sorts of other things.

    I'd just like to point out that illiteracy as I use it is unfamiliarity with the written language; it has nothing to do with the spoken language of whatever register, high or low.

    In normal written English -- online conversation it isn't -- "like X <does>" is a little inappropriate. It is marginally illiterate. And learners, especially, should be taught the unobjectionable first.

    I have never meant to offend.
    Last edited by abaka; 10-Aug-2019 at 18:22. Reason: Rephrase last sentence.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    I have never meant to offend.
    None at all taken on my part.

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    #8

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I am old and old--fashioned enough to use 'as', but I have heard and seen 'like' used often by people who are far from illiterate, marginally or otherwise.
    Hardly anyone would see "like X <does something>" as a sign of marginal illiteracy. It's extremely common and only a few prescriptivists notice it as anything other than normal English.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Hardly anyone would see "like X <does something>" as a sign of marginal illiteracy. It's extremely common and virtually nobody notices it as anything other than normal English.
    I disagree.

    Perhaps my 1970's schooling is showing.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

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    #10

    Re: like my father / like my father does

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    I disagree.

    Perhaps my 1970's schooling is showing.
    I finished high school in 1973. My maternal grandmother, who learned English when she was in her fifties, complained about a cigarette ad campaign that featured "like a cigarette should". The only other place I remember seeing complaints about the construction was in ads that ran later in the campaign; they pointed out the supposed error as a way to catch the viewer's attention. It worked: I remember which brand was being advertised.
    I am not a teacher.

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