Ask a Teacher: Like or Alike?

2018-11-02

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1
  • Have you ever wanted to talk about similarities between people or things but were unsure what words to use? Today's question comes from Nagim of Israel.
  • 2
  • Hello from Israel. How can we use "alike" and "like"? These two words are very difficult for me. - Nagim, Israel
  • 3
  • Hello, Nagim, and thanks for asking a teacher!
  • 4
  • The words "alike" and "like" are easy to confuse. We use both to show similarities between people or things. They also sound alike.
  • 5
  • Did you see how I used the word "alike"? I used it as an adverb.
  • 6
  • "Alike" can be an adverb or an adjective.
  • 7
  • As an adverb, it means "in a similar way." We use it after an action verb - a verb that expresses physical or mental action. Here is an example that is also a popular expression:
  • 8
  • Great minds think alike.
  • 9
  • It means that very intelligent people have the same ideas at the same time.
  • 10
  • Here's another:
  • 11
  • Teens sometimes try to dress alike.
  • 12
  • One other meaning for the adverb "alike" is "both." We use it to talk about two individual people or things or two groups of people or things:
  • 13
  • Students and teachers alike can listen to Ask a Teacher.
  • 14
  • For this meaning, notice that the word "alike" comes after the two groups - students and teachers.
  • 15
  • As an adjective, "alike" means "similar in appearance, nature or form." We use it after linking verbs, such as "be," "look" and "sound."
  • 16
  • Let's hear some examples.
  • 17
  • You and your brother are so much alike!
  • 18
  • Those sports cars look alike. They're the same shape and color.
  • 19
  • My mom and I sound alike on the phone.
  • 20
  • Now, let's talk about "like." The main meaning we are talking about today is as a preposition. It means "similar to" and comes before a noun or pronoun object. Here are some examples:
  • 21
  • You are just like your brother.
  • 22
  • This sports car looks a lot like that one.
  • 23
  • I sound like my mom on the phone.
  • 24
  • We can use the preposition "like" for all five senses.
  • 25
  • The use of "like" that often confuses English learners is the conjunction. When a conjunction, "like" means "as if" or "as though" and is informal. Here's how that sounds:
  • 26
  • The plane felt like it was going to crash!
  • 27
  • It means that the plane felt as if it were going to crash. There was probably a lot of turbulence, for example.
  • 28
  • But, avoid this use in formal writing.
  • 29
  • And that's Ask a Teacher.
  • 30
  • I'm Alice Bryant.
  • 1
  • Have you ever wanted to talk about similarities between people or things but were unsure what words to use? Today's question comes from Nagim of Israel.
  • 2
  • Question:
  • 3
  • Hello from Israel. How can we use "alike" and "like"? These two words are very difficult for me. - Nagim, Israel
  • 4
  • Answer:
  • 5
  • Hello, Nagim, and thanks for asking a teacher!
  • 6
  • The words "alike" and "like" are easy to confuse. We use both to show similarities between people or things. They also sound alike.
  • 7
  • Did you see how I used the word "alike"? I used it as an adverb.
  • 8
  • "Alike" can be an adverb or an adjective.
  • 9
  • Alike: adverb
  • 10
  • As an adverb, it means "in a similar way." We use it after an action verb - a verb that expresses physical or mental action. Here is an example that is also a popular expression:
  • 11
  • Great minds think alike.
  • 12
  • It means that very intelligent people have the same ideas at the same time.
  • 13
  • Here's another:
  • 14
  • Teens sometimes try to dress alike.
  • 15
  • One other meaning for the adverb "alike" is "both." We use it to talk about two individual people or things or two groups of people or things:
  • 16
  • Students and teachers alike can listen to Ask a Teacher.
  • 17
  • For this meaning, notice that the word "alike" comes after the two groups - students and teachers.
  • 18
  • Alike: adjective
  • 19
  • As an adjective, "alike" means "similar in appearance, nature or form." We use it after linking verbs, such as "be," "look" and "sound."
  • 20
  • Let's hear some examples.
  • 21
  • You and your brother are so much alike!
  • 22
  • Those sports cars look alike. They're the same shape and color.
  • 23
  • My mom and I sound alike on the phone.
  • 24
  • Like: preposition
  • 25
  • Now, let's talk about "like." The main meaning we are talking about today is as a preposition. It means "similar to" and comes before a noun or pronoun object. Here are some examples:
  • 26
  • You are just like your brother.
  • 27
  • This sports car looks a lot like that one.
  • 28
  • I sound like my mom on the phone.
  • 29
  • We can use the preposition "like" for all five senses.
  • 30
  • Like: conjunction
  • 31
  • The use of "like" that often confuses English learners is the conjunction. When a conjunction, "like" means "as if" or "as though" and is informal. Here's how that sounds:
  • 32
  • The plane felt like it was going to crash!
  • 33
  • It means that the plane felt as if it were going to crash. There was probably a lot of turbulence, for example.
  • 34
  • But, avoid this use in formal writing.
  • 35
  • And that's Ask a Teacher.
  • 36
  • I'm Alice Bryant.
  • 37
  • Do you know people who look, talk, act or think alike? How are they like one another? You can use today's words to tell us about it.
  • 38
  • Or, do you have a question for Ask a Teacher? Write to us in the Comments area.
  • 39
  • ________________________________________________________________
  • 40
  • Words in This Story
  • 41
  • teen - n. someone who is between 13 and 19 years old
  • 42
  • linking verb - n. a verb that connects a subject with an adjective or noun that describes or identifies the subject
  • 43
  • sense - n. one of the five natural powers (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing) through which you receive information about the world around you
  • 44
  • conjunction - n. a word that joins together sentences, clauses, phrases, or words
  • 45
  • informal - adj. not suited for serious or official speech and writing
  • 46
  • turbulence - n. sudden, violent movements of air or water