Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Such As and Like

Such As vs Like

While “such as” can be used as an adverb, “like” can be used as an adverb, an adjective, or a preposition in a sentence. “Such as” and “like” are both used to describe things, persons, and ideas.

The differences between “such as” and “like” are very faint that people oftentimes overlook them. Choosing which one to use can be confusing even though their differences are not that notable. Here are what makes them different:
“Like” is used when talking about similarities that are indefinite or very significant. It is used to describe something that has the same characteristics as another and which are used in combinations.

“Anne loves furry animals like rabbits and hamsters.” In this sentence, it is stated that Anne loves furry animals, but it does not necessarily imply that she likes rabbits and hamsters.
“Like” is used when comparing things or persons that have similar qualities, quantities, or degree.

“John is smart like Peter.” In this sentence, it is stated that both Peter and John are smart.
“Like” doesn’t need any punctuation such as commas or colons.

“Hamsters are furry creatures just like guinea pigs and rabbits.” It is not necessary to use commas or colons in this sentence.
“Such as” is used when talking about specific persons or things.

“Smart people such as John and Peter are most likely to succeed in their chosen careers.” It is stated that John and Peter are both smart and are likely to succeed.
It is used to specify certain things or persons as examples when the objects of comparison are certain.

“My dog Sushine loves to eat sweet food such as chocolates and candies.” Chocolates and candies are examples of sweet food.
It is also used when listing specific items.

“Fruits such as oranges, apples, grapes, and papayas are rich in vitamin C.” It is used to specify fruits that are rich in vitamin C.
Although it is not necessary, a lot of people use commas or colons before or after “such as.”

“Small, furry animals, such as dogs and cats, are the usual favorite pets of little children.” It is necessary to use commas in this sentence to specify the examples given.
“Like” is used to exclude certain things when comparing items while “such as” is used to include certain things. Both “such as” and “like” can be used in lieu of the other. They can be interchanged. Whichever one chooses to use, the meaning of the sentence will still be the same.


1.“Like” is used when talking about indefinite similarities between people or things while “such as” is used when talking about specific persons or things.
2.“Like” is used when comparing persons or things and describing the similarities between things or persons while “such as” is used to give specific examples especially when the objects of comparison are definite.
3.When using “like,” commas or colons are not needed. But when using “such as,” commas or colons are usually used before or after it.

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  1. Wow…exact explanation.

  2. This article is rather confusing. If “like and such as can be interchanged”, and “whichever one chooses to use, the meaning of the sentence will still be the same”, what IS the difference between them???

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