as befit someone

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Senior Member
(1)He was unpretentious in both manner and appearance, as befit someone who worked well with children.
What exactly does "as" mean in this sentence? What's the difference with it and the sentence with "which" in its place?
(2)...and appearance, which befit someone who worked well with children.
  • little_vegemite

    Senior Member
    (1) should be "as befit someone who worked well with children.
    the same thing for no. 2
    Where are these sentences from? I'm not sure which and as are interchangeable here...


    Senior Member
    (This is my second attempt to answer this. I erased my first answer after reading it. :) )

    I think both "as" and "which" work, but they don't mean the same thing, in my opinion. The difference is subtle, though.

    Let me try it with another two sentences:

    1) "He is loving and loyal as befits a good dog."
    2) "He is loving and loyal which befits a good dog."

    To me, 1) says that he was just as loving and loyal as a good dog should be. 2) says that he was loving and loyal, and that those two traits are, in general, traits that a good dog should have.

    (I may end up erasing this response as well. :) )

    To paraphrase 1), "He is as loving and loyal as you would expect a good dog to be."

    To paraphrase 2), "Every good dog should be loving and loyal, and he is both."

    In my opinion, it has to do with whether you are making a pronouncement about how good dogs should be and also saying that he fit these criteria, or whether the focus is on the particular dog and his qualities which were as good as you would expect a good dog to be.

    I'm giving up now. Perhaps someone else can explain it, or set me straight. :)


    Senior Member
    Your comment is more precious than all gold and silver amassed together!:p

    I take it that the "which" version is more of a simple statement, whereas the "as" version means something like "He is loving and loyal enough to..."

    Since "as" has a lot of usages, it is difficult for me to narrow it down to which usage a given sentence is based on, but thanks to you I now know that it's similar to "Tokyo is as big as Mexico City."
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