regard their PC <as / like> a trusted friend


New Member
Italian - Italy
I was doing an exercise and I found this sentence:

"Many children now regard their PC as a trusted friend"

Who can explain why it has been used AS and not LIKE, in the sentence above ?
  • Kwistax

    Senior Member
    français - Belgique
    if you had used like instead of as, the sentence would have meant someting else: that they look at their computer the same way as they look at their friends.

    When here, the meaning is different: the pc has become a trusted friend for many children.

    So as is the right word, not like.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Alternative interpretation:

    "Many children now regard their PC as they would [ie like] a trusted friend"


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Please see this Usage Note under like:
    (I have made the relevant section red.)

    The use of like to mean such as was formerly thought to be undesirable in formal writing, but has now become acceptable. It was also thought that as rather than like should be used to mean in the same way that, but now both as and like are acceptable: they hunt and catch fish as/like their ancestors used to. The use of look like and seem like before a clause, although very common, is thought by many people to be incorrect or non-standard: it looks as though he won't come (not it looks like he won't come)​

    That is, once the use of 'like' in the sentence above would have a been considered an error. Some people still hold to this rule. Now, many people would accept either one in the topic sentence.

    If you are doing this for classwork, your teacher may be someone who thinks only 'as' should be used in this sentence.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English UK
    Cagey's post seems to me to be 100% right.

    That said ... "regard" is, to me, a relatively formal word. So I would always tend to say "regard X as Y" rather than "regard X like Y".
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