Monday, June 19, 2006

Like vs Such As

What's the difference between "like" and "such as"?

Common usage errors on GMAT:

Can you buy me some fruit like apples or pomegranate?

Why the above sentence is wrong?

Use of "like" in the above sentence mistakenly suggests that the speaker does not want apples or pomegranate, but rather some other fruit that is similar to apples or watermelon.

On GMAT, "like" means "similar to", and "such as" means "for example".


Can you buy me some fruit like apples or watermelon?

On GMAT, this sentence implies that the speaker does NOT want apples or watermelon; instead, he prefers some fruit similar to apples and watermelon.

Correct - Can you buy me some fruit such as apples or watermelon?
Apples and watermelon are examples of the type of fruit we want.

I would like you to buy such fruit as apples and watermelon for me.
This is simply a variation. Notice how such and as are separated.