Monday, May 11, 2015

You Probably Use "Like" Incorrectly

You probably use "like" wrong.

When you say "I like ice cream" you use it correctly, of course.

But what's wrong with this sentence:
On my trip I went to cities like Chicago and New York.
What do you think that means? That on the trip they went to Chicago, New York, and somewhere else?

No, properly that is read as "On my trip, I went to cities similar to Chicago and New York, but didn't go to either of them."

The correct way to say "I went to Chicago and New York and other cities" is:
On my trip I went to cities such as Chicago and New York.
That means you went to Chicago, New York, and other similar places.

The rule here is, if you are listing similar but non-inclusive things, use "like."

For example: "Barack Obama had two terms in office like Reagan and Clinton."

If the list is inclusive, then use "such as."

And: "Some presidents serve two terms in office such as Obama, Reagan, and Clinton."

This is a bit confusing. But if you are comparing, use like. If you are listing similar things, use "such as."

Bot don't worry, nobody gets this right anymore.

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