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As vs like

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by F4sT, Sep 9, 2005.

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  1. F4sT

    F4sT Senior Member

    Venice
    Italy
    salve,
    volevo qualche consiglio per usare al meglio as e like per dire "come.."
    ho cercato anche su diversi dizionari.. e dicono per esempio che like e as vanno usati prima di un sostantivo o di un pronome.. tipo:
    dolce come il miele
    sweet as honey
    è come un pesce fuori d'acqua
    he's like a fish out of the water.
    mi chiedevo se li avessi scambiato.. sarebbe un errore oppure suonerebbe solo male..
    davanti ad un verbo- AS
    fai come vuoi - do as you like
    [...]
    cosa faccio? li devo un po' imparare a memoria... oppure spesso uno vale l'altro?
    grazie. :)
     
  2. Potter John Junior Member

    Birmingham UK
    UK English
    Ciao F4sT
    I am replying in English because my Italian is not good enough:(.

    If 'come' follows an adjective it is best expressed in English as 'as' but it needs an 'as' before the adjective as well

    dolce come il miele = as sweet as honey.

    If 'come' follows a verb it is expressed as 'like' in English

    è come un pesce fuori d'aqua = he is like a fish out of water.
    nuota come un pesce = he swims like a fish
     
  3. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Potter John

    "Come" in Italian also means "in qualità di". In this case I think "as" should be used:

    Lavora come interprete alle Nazioni Unite
    He works as an interpreter at the U.N.

    I don't know if the following examples sound strained but I think they convey the difference:

    You speak just like my father

    I'm not speaking as a father now...

    F4ST

    You are right. It should always be "as" when "come" is a conjunction:

    As you know... As I told you many times... As I said...

    But you will often hear incorrect forms such as "like I said...", "like I told you..." from native speakers. This usage is frowned upon by many people.

    Carlo
     
  4. Potter John Junior Member

    Birmingham UK
    UK English
    You are quite right of course Carlo.
    I was only thinking of it being used as a comparative:eek:

    John
     
  5. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Hi Potter John

    I went into all that detail because the as/like pair is quite difficult for us Italians.

    I've been to Birmingham a few times. I have friends in Yardley, Edgbaston, Moseley and Halesowen:)
     
  6. F4sT

    F4sT Senior Member

    Venice
    Italy
    :)
    uhm.. non riesco ad essere sicuro quando va usato as e quando invece va usato like quando funge da paragone..
    nuota come un pesce=> he swims like a fish(nome)
    dolce come il miele => sweet as honey(nome)
    sebbene i due casi finiscano con un nome e entrambe fungono da paragone... in inglese è stato usato due termini diversi.. ( nel primo like e nel 2° as) non riesco a capire a cosa sia dovuto la scelta. Se qualcuno può spiegarmelo ne sarei grato.
    a presto :)
     
  7. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Pensa a questo:
    He swims like a fish
    He's as good as a fish at swimming

    La differenza è che as/as richiede un aggettivo. Non so se c'è una spiegazione migliore, ma quelle che ho letto sin qui sembravano buone.
     
  8. F4sT

    F4sT Senior Member

    Venice
    Italy
    Grazie Silvia.
    quindi con gli aggettivi userò la forma as/as..

    (una curiosità: quindi è sbagliato usare solo un as con gli agettivi? tipo
    dolce come il miele=> sweet as honey ( va messo obbligatoriamente un as davanti a sweet? )
     
  9. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    I'm having difficulty trying to formulate a rule, but "Sweet as honey" is correct.
    Dead as a doornail
    Busy as a bee
    I slept like a log
     
  10. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Si può togliere(specie in AE, ma non è obbligatorio) il primo "as" solo quando sono espressioni idiomatiche(come "testardo come un mulo", "cieco come una talpa" ecc in italiano):

    blind as a bat
    pissed as a newt
    hard as nails

    Invece se è un normale comparativo di uguaglianza i due "as" sono obbligatori:

    I'm not as stupid as you think

    Carlo
     
  11. F4sT

    F4sT Senior Member

    Venice
    Italy
    Grazie Moodywop.
    ora ci vedo un po' più chiaro :)
     
  12. Marco da Roma Junior Member

    Roma
    Italiano, Rome, Italy
    Can somebody help me with the difference among: as, like, as well as.

    thank you
     
  13. la reine victoria Senior Member

    Can you please give us some context Marco? There are many ways in which your words can be used. Thank you.
     
  14. Marco da Roma Junior Member

    Roma
    Italiano, Rome, Italy
    in italian i translate this words in the same way. I use "come".

    But in english you say "like a Virgin" and not "as a virgin" (Madonna).
    or "you look like a..." and not "you look as a..."

    is there a difference in the meaning of this words?
     
  15. la reine victoria Senior Member

    We could also say, 'As a virgin she was slightly nervous on her wedding night.'

    1. You look like a happy child - or -

    2. You look as happy as a child.

    So, when making a simple statement, use 'like a'
    When making a comparison, which qualifies your statement, use 'look as'

    I'm sure others will be able to explain this more clearly.
     
  16. thrice Senior Member

    Fort Worth, Texas
    English - U.S.
    That's a tough one :confused: . I'm not a grammar expert, and "like" is a very odd word, especially in spoken English. I think what you're missing is that "like" can also mean "similar to". so "you look like a" is like (similar to) "you look similar to". I'm not sure how to explain "like a virgin" to you. that song doesn't make much sense to me anyways =) my best guess is that "like" can also mean "In the typical manner of". so, "like a virgin" means "In the typical manner of a virgin"
     
  17. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australia
    Australian English
  18. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    As well as può significare (tanto) bene quanto:

    He plays the piano as well as you do = suona il piano bene quanto/come te

    oppure come anche.., ed anche..

    I'd like to visit New York as well as the West Coast

    Il nostro come corrisponde ad as quando vuol dire "in qualità di", "nella funzione di":

    I work as an interpreter

    The student protests acted as a catalyst for change

    Invece quando come vuol dire a somiglianza di, allo stesso modo di corrisponde a like:

    He's just like his father

    He works like a slave

    He's like a father to me

    Forse questo esempio può chiarire meglio: se uno dei nostri madrelingua dice As a native speaker I can tell you that...vuol dire in qualità di madrelingua, in quanto madrelingua. Se invece uno straniero parla l'inglese benissimo un americano potrebbe dirgli you sound like a native speaker.
     
  19. F4sT

    F4sT Senior Member

    Venice
    Italy
  20. italian blue eyes Junior Member

    Milan
    Italian - Italy
    Hello everybody!
    Sometimes I'm not sure which one between As and Like to use;

    for example: perfect as gift or perfect like gift?
    (perfetto come regalo)

    I believe that Perfect as gift is more correct, but i'm not sure about it!

    I know the general rule that as is followed by subject and verb, while like is followed by noun, but I'm not sure what I have to use in this case, because if i follow the rule, it should be Perfect like gift, but it doens't sound good to me!
     
  21. Pirlo

    Pirlo Senior Member

    Australia
    English
    Ciao signora,
    Non capisco il contesto della frase. Forse, si può fornire un contesto? :)

    Grazie,
    Pirlo
     
  22. italian blue eyes Junior Member

    Milan
    Italian - Italy
    this book is perfect as a gift;

    this is what i want to say, but i'm not sure if i have to use as or like.

    thanks! :)
     
  23. Pirlo

    Pirlo Senior Member

    Australia
    English
    "This book is perfect as a gift"
    ..
    è perfetto in questo contesto!

    Prego,
    Pirlo
     
  24. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Like suggests a comparison:
    He speaks like the president (he's not the president)
    As means in the role of:
    I work as a teacher (I really am a teacher)

    By the way, BlueEyes, "I'm not sure if I should use..."
     
  25. italian blue eyes Junior Member

    Milan
    Italian - Italy
    Thank you very much for the explanations!
    I understood it perfectly!
     
  26. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Buongiorno, blue eyes. Non dimenticare l'uso adatto delle lettere maiuscole in conformità con la Regola No. 22 di WRF. :)

    Elisabetta
     
  27. bisy_busy New Member

    Italy, italian
    hi, I would like to know the correct use of "as" and "like", because all the teachers say something, but then, in the daily life, you can hear everything else.
    Thanks...
     
  28. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    There are a few previous threads on this topic: here , here and here and you'll find even more in the English Only forum:)
     
  29. Mauro86 Senior Member

    Italian
    Ragazzi, secondo voi queste frasi sono giuste?

    "...just in order to remove him by a possible future AS a criminal."

    "...it also thinks over about other more serious aspects LIKE the racial discrimination."
     
  30. Leo57 Senior Member

    Yorkshire
    UK English
    Hi there
    Unfortunately, they don't sound right. (Where did they come from?) I can't really guess the first one, but I have had a try with the second.

    Ciao
    Leo:)
     
  31. stella_maris_74

    stella_maris_74 Mod About Chocolate

    Rome
    Italian - Italy
    Mauro, prova a scrivere cosa vorresti dire in italiano, così i nostri amici anglofoni potranno capire meglio e aiutarti a tradurre :)
     
  32. Uncle Romania Junior Member

    English, England
    eg "As your brother, i would like to see you try harder" compared with
    "Like your brother, i would like to see you try harder"

    My attempt:
    "Da tuo fratello, vorrei che ti sforzi di più"
    (voglio esprimere il senso "in qualità di") invece di

    "Come tuo fratello, vorrei che ecc"

    Lo si rende bene così o non?

    Grazie assai
    Rob
     
  33. federicoft Senior Member

    Italian
    Hi Rob,
    I'd say "come tuo fratello, vorrei che ti sforzassi di più" in both cases. The context will resolve the ambiguity.
     
  34. Mohole Senior Member

    Belgium
    Italian
    Ciao Rob,
    Normalmente sia as (con valore modale), sia like (nel senso di somiglianza) sono resi in italiano con come.
    Se vuoi sottolineare "in qualità di", allora sarebbe meglio usare una perifrasi, tipo: "vorrei che ti sforzassi di più, prendendo esempio da tuo fratello"...

    Ciao
     
  35. yanein

    yanein Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian-Spanish (Spa) bilingual
    D'accordo con Federicoft. In alternativa, "vorrei, da fratello, che ti sforzassi di più"
     
  36. Salbina Senior Member

    Bari, Italia
    Italian
    "Vorrei che ti sforzassi di più, come (fa) tuo fratello", nel senso di like.

    "Come fratello, vorrei che ti sforzassi di più" nel senso di as.

    Secondo me se in questa seconda frase si lascia l'aggettivo possessivo "Come tuo fratello, vorreti che ti sforzassi di più" si crea ambiguità (e inoltre a me non suona benissimo, ma forse è solo una questione di gusto personale)


    Ciao, Salbina :)
     
  37. effeundici Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian - Tuscany
    Concordo

    la presenza o l'assenza di tuo fa la differenza
     
  38. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Però questo non traduce né
    1) "As your brother, I would like to see you try harder" (sono tuo fratello e vorrei che ti sforzassi di più)

    2) "Like your brother, I would like to see you try harder" (sono d'accordo con tuo fratello che ti dovresti sforzare di più).

    Traduce invece
    "I would like to see you try harder, like your brother". Però anche questo è ambiguo ed è interpretabile con il significato 2).
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  39. Uncle Romania Junior Member

    English, England
    Grazie tutti, ormai ho capito

    Rob
     
  40. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche

    E, senza il possessivo, anche il "da" funziona, non credi ?

    " Come fratello, vorrei che non uscissi con quel cretino "

    " Da fratello, vorrei che non uscissi con quel cretino "


    "Come tuo fratello" invece, non mi suona per nulla bene. Il problema e' il possessivo, ma non riesco a capire perche'. Deve essere la posizione.

    " Quello che fa la Cicci non mi interessa - pero', da fratello tuo ( 'come fratello tuo' ) , vorrei che non stessi fuori la notte "
     
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