The correct use of than and as

The word comparison on a blackboard: in comparisons one uses the words like and as. However, they tend to be confused or incorrectly used together. (source: Stefanie Schlunz/t-online)

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In comparisons you use the two words as and as. But when is like and when is as correctly? And one cannot simply combine both words and as like say?

The use of like for comparisons

The words like and as are indeed often confused. Some of you may now be wondering whether the two words like and than cannot simply use identical in comparisons. No, I must then answer, you cannot. You should not!

The word like expresses standard linguistic, i.e. high linguistic, equality from. That is, do we want to use comparison express that something agrees, that is, one thing exactly like is another or something through not directly negated, we use the word like respectively so . like. Let’s look at a few examples for better understanding:

  • You are just as smart like me.
  • I am as on time like the boss.
  • The colleague is not so on time as me.

For professionals: Are in comparisons two things or persons equal, one uses the unincreased form of the adjective, the basic form – also Positive called – of the 3 forms of intensification in German (z. B. smart, small, big). She is compared with like respectively so . like is used (Thomas is so big like Maik.).

The use of as with comparisons

you will already guess, in contrast to like the word as always used in comparisons when Inequality should be expressed. This means that if we want to express in a comparison that something different is, that is, one thing is different from another, we use the word as. Again, a few examples will help clarify the difference:

  • One colleague is more punctual As the other.
  • You are greater as me.
  • She earns better as her husband.

For professionals: Are in comparisons two things or persons unequal, one uses the first intensification of the adjective – even comparative called – of the 3 forms of intensification in German (z. B. smarter, smaller, bigger). It is used with the comparative word as used.

► A small Mnemonic for use with as:

The words other, no one, none, nothing, reverse, opposite for example also press inequality thus one uses also after these expressions frequently as.

  • With him it is other than with her.
  • That is nothing but hot air.
  • The one is other than the other.
  • He has with none other people as talked to her about it.

The short form of the rule to memorize

  • Like expresses Equality from.
  • As presses Inequality from.

Hands off the combination"than like"

As it was said in Goethe’s Faust:

  • "There I stand now I poor fool, and am so clever than like before."

Goethe was allowed to write it down like this about 200 years ago. The times when as and like can be interchanged at will and used together, however, are long gone.

Even if nowadays now and then the Combination as and like is used where actually only a simple as belongs, this usage is purely colloquially. Especially in South Germany, in Ruhr area, possibly also in Thuringia and Saxony a clear separation of both words is not always observed, which is considered a regional peculiarity. Let us go from High German from, lie you with the common use always Incorrect.

  • The orthographer:Appearances are deceptive! – apparent vs. apparently
  • The orthographer:Of hot temperatures – or when the mind goes swimming
  • Orthographer:The accusative is the death of the idiot
  • Orthographer’s Language Column:Don’t be a moron, leave it out – the moron apostrophe

So please do not use the two words together. A few false Examples of the Failure to Memorize:

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