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Don’t Be Confused by As – How to Use As

By Jacqueline Schaalje

As can be a confusing word as you can find it in a number of ways and meanings.

Here, I will give you a small overview. Then we’ll do a quiz to test your knowledge.

As can basically mean three things: like/similar to, while or because.

Now we’ll look at these three meanings in more detail.

similarVinoth Chandar

Like/similar to

As is a relative pronoun:

She wants to buy the same dress as yours.

All the other children received the same present as you did.

We’re going on the same hike as the one we did last month.

Note: You can’t use “like” in these sentences. As soon as there is a verb that you’re comparing to, you have to use “as” and not “like.”

As is an adverb:

He runs as fast as the wind.

He runs as far as his shoes will carry him.

She adores wild flowers, as poppies and daisies.

Here actually most people will use “such as:” She adores wild flowers, such as poppies and daisies.

poppiesPeter Dargatz

As is a conjunction (connecting word):

As you know, the meeting for today is cancelled.

As far as I’m concerned, we can continue with our plan.

You can put the part with “as” on the other side of the sentence:

The meeting for today is cancelled, as you know.

We can continue with our plan as far as I’m concerned.

Some more examples:

As much as I care for this idea, we don’t have enough budget for it.

As I’ve explained before, I’d rather sleep in a hotel.

As I’d hoped, he had forgotten about my mistake completely.

Many people guessed the new princess’ name, as if they’d had inside information.

As can also be used for though (= although):

Flexible as he was, he didn’t want to work every weeknight.

Great as the idea sounded, the details didn’t work out.

Happy as we were, our sex life could be better.

You can write these same sentences with “though” in the place of “as.”

As can also mean in the job/function of, in the role of:

He works as a physicist.

She was acting as the chairwoman of the meeting.

We can use this cloth as a tent.

magazineCourtney Carmody

While

As is used as a conjunction.

As I was looking through the magazine, I noticed a funny spelling mistake.

She greeted the neighbours as she was on her way to the supermarket.

As he grew older, he grew fond of buying expensive shoes.

The dentist can make your new crown as you wait.

springIan Sane

Because

As is a conjunction here.

As it was spring, the world suddenly seemed to look more cheerful.

As they hadn’t seen each other for a week, the lovers jumped in each other’s arms.

As pictures say more than a thousand words, have a look at this.

I don’t know what my grandfather did in the war, as he doesn’t want to speak about it.

 

Quiz

Decide in which meaning as is used in the following sentences: like/similar to, while or because.

Do this quiz online here. 

1 As Mimi looked away, Peter winked at me.

2 As she’d expected, the house was still a mess.

3 As he pointed out so kindly, there was a big logical mistake in my essay.

4 I’d never expected you to grow as tall as your brother.

5 The helpdesk guided him through the problem as they took over his desktop computer.

6 The failure of their first start-up company only made Elisabeth more determined to succeed, as it did James.

7 As friendship can come in many shapes and colours, it doesn’t mean that your friend is a bad friend if he doesn’t want to help you move house.

8 Better let the matter rest, as they say.

9 I’m so sorry that you misconstrued my lame joke as an insult. Please forgive me.

10 I don’t know how you can claim to have met Zelda, as she wasn’t studying at UCLA when you were there.

Want to do more quizzes? There are hundreds for free on the website or you can buy more quizzes when you become an Exclusive Member.

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