Difference Between Like and Such As

Main Difference – Like vs Such As

Although like and such as can be used interchangeably in some sentences, they are not always interchangeable. This is because these two words have different meanings and functions. The main difference between like and such as is that like implies a comparison whereas such as implies inclusion. Although the difference between these two words may seem subtle, they do have an impact on the meaning of a sentence.

This article looks at,

1. The Meaning, Grammar, Usage, and Examples of Like

2. The Meaning, Grammar, Usage and Examples of Such as

3. The difference between Like and Such asDifference Between Like and Such As - Like vs Such As Comparison Summary

Like – Grammar, Meaning and Usage

The word like has many meanings and functions. But in this article, we’ll mainly focus on one of its functions. That is, its function in comparison. Let’s look at some examples to understand this well.

He loved cartoons like Garfield.

In the above sentence, like implies a comparison. Like is used to indicate that cartoons that are similar to Garfield.

I love fruits like oranges and tangerines.

Like indicates that the speaker loves fruits that are similar to oranges and tangerine, but not oranges or tangerines.

Some more examples of this type of sentences include:

The teacher doesn’t like mischievous children like Jake.

He wants to find books like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Can you bring me a vegetable like eggplants?

Main Difference - Like vs Such As

The chef used a herb like parsley.

Such as – Grammar, Meaning and Usage

Such as is mainly used to introduce introductions.  Let’s look at some example sentences using this word to understand its meaning and usage.

I love desserts such as brownies, chocolate mousse, and fudge.

In the above sentence, such as indicates that brownies, chocolate mousse, and fudge are some examples of the desserts you like. You can notice the same meaning in the following examples as well.

She loves fantasy books such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

Can you bring me some fruits like apples and oranges?

They studied authors such as Austen and Bronte.

Difference Between Like and Such As

They sold fruits such as apples, oranges, apricots, and bananas.

Like vs Such as

Let’s now compare two sentences and see whether there is any major difference between like and such as.

Can you buy me some fruits like apples and oranges?

Can you buy me some fruits such as apples and oranges?

In the first sentence, the speaker wants some fruits that are similar to apples and oranges. It also implies that the speaker doesn’t want apples and oranges.

In the second sentence, apples and oranges are examples of the fruits the speaker wants.


Many grammarians, experienced writers, as well as some style guides,  maintain that both like and such are acceptable in scenarios demonstrated above. However, it is generally accepted that such as sounds more formal than like.

Difference Between Like and Such As


Like is used to indicate a comparison.

Such as is used to introduce examples.


Like sounds less formal than such as.

Such as sounds more formal than like.

 Image Courtesy: Pixbay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.