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Clauses, Phrases, Word comparisons

Note 74 – The subtle difference between ‘like’ and ‘such as’

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – If you would prefer to dive straight into note 74, then please read on…

Recap on notes 72 and 73

Yesterday I blogged about the words like and as (see note 73) and how like is used with phrases and as is used with clauses.  You can also refer to note 72 which describes the difference between a phrase (contains no verb) and a clause (contains a verb).

‘Like’ and ‘such as’

Today’s blog is about the difference between using like and such as in your writing.  The Little Red Writing Book by Brandon Royal, says that “such as is used for listing items in a series.”

E.g. He went to the zoo to show his young son animals such as the lion, the monkey and the elephant.

On researching this further and to give you more examples, I have discovered a site which explains the difference really well.  Suite 101 (website link below) explains that you can use like and such as interchangeably, but your writing will have more impact if you are seen to know the difference. A quote from the site is as follows:

“Remember that the difference between like and such as is subtle. If you are at a loss of which to use, think whether you are writing about the actual object, place or person or just comparing the object, place or person to similar things”

Follow the link to read more at Suite101: ://

Some examples are:

  1. In a new job Ed was looking for things such as better salary, shorter commute and more flexible working hours
  2. In a new job Ed would be looking for things like better salary and more flexible working hours


Point 1 lists and compares similar things that Ed may look for in a new job, whereas point 2 contains a more specific list.

I was going to begin with a very short blog about how to use ‘such as’ in your writing, but ended up learning more than I set out to learn today.  Hope you have enjoyed reading this.  I blog daily so please don’t forget to come back tomorrow to learn more or subscribe to receive the blogs by email.

Just want to end with a big THANK YOU to my readers and subscribers for your continued support – I’ve just noticed that I have reached 1000 hits on this blog.

Until tomorrow…


This blog:

My other blog:

My website: (includes the introduction to my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Brandon Royal (2004) The Little Red Writing Book, USA

Suite 101:


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


4 thoughts on “Note 74 – The subtle difference between ‘like’ and ‘such as’

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    Posted by red cross cna | June 26, 2012, 8:55 pm
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    Posted by golf ball reviews | August 5, 2012, 2:07 am
    • Hi there, thanks for your comment. I actually use WordPress as a platform, but upgraded and bought the domain so that it didn’t show WordPress in the URL. As my blog is still hosted at WordPress, I don’t have hackers as they filter all of that and put it in a ‘spam’ folder for me. I haven’t yet found any other blogging platform that’s better. If you have downloaded WordPress (which I have done on another blog) you can purchase an add in to stop all the spam comments – I haven’t done it, but I know others who have. It might be worth a try. Hope that helps.
      Good luck. Sandra

      Posted by Sandra Madeira | August 7, 2012, 7:06 am

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