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LIKE and ALIKE: Useful Difference between Like and Alike

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Like and alike are two words in the English language that are often confused and used interchangeably. However, they have distinct meanings and should be used appropriately in different contexts. In this article, we will explore the differences between like and alike and provide examples of how to use them correctly.

Understanding Like and Alike

Basics of Like

Like is a versatile word that can be used as a preposition, conjunction, adjective, or verb. As a preposition, it is used to compare two things that are similar in some way. For example, “She walks like a queen.” As a conjunction, it is used to connect two clauses that express similarity. For example, “He looks like his father, and he acts like him too.” As an adjective, it is used to describe a noun that is similar to another noun. For example, “She has a dress like mine.” As a verb, it is used to express enjoyment or preference for something. For example, “I like ice cream.”

Basics of Alike

Alike is an adjective that is used to describe two or more things that are similar in some way. It is often used to compare two or more people, things, or situations. For example, “The two sisters look alike.” Alike can also be used as an adverb to modify a verb or adjective. For example, “The two cars are alike in color and size.”

It is important to note that while like and alike are often used interchangeably, there are some subtle differences between the two. Like is more commonly used to compare things that are not exactly the same, while alike is used to compare things that are very similar or almost identical. Additionally, like is often used to express preference or enjoyment, while alike is used more for comparison.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between like and alike can help you use these words correctly in your writing and speech.

Comparing Like vs Alike


Both “like” and “alike” are adjectives that describe similarities between two or more things. They can be used interchangeably in some contexts, but there are some subtle differences in their meanings.


The main difference between “like” and “alike” is their level of similarity. “Like” suggests a general resemblance or similarity, while “alike” implies a stronger and more specific similarity.

For example, if we say “these two cars are like each other,” we mean that they share some similarities, but we don’t necessarily mean that they are identical. On the other hand, if we say “these two cars are alike,” we suggest that they are almost identical or very similar in many ways.

Another difference between “like” and “alike” is their usage. “Like” is more commonly used in comparisons between two things, while “alike” is often used to describe similarities between three or more things.

In terms of sentence structure, “like” is often followed by a noun or pronoun, while “alike” can be used as an adjective or an adverb.

In conclusion, while “like” and “alike” are similar in that they both describe similarities between things, they have some subtle differences in their meanings and usage.

Like and Alike | Rules and Examples


  • Like as a preposition meaning ‘similar to
  • We often use it with to be and verbs of the senses such as look, sound, feel, taste, seem

For example:

He looks like his father. (He looks similar to/ the same as his father.)

This tastes like coconut. (This tastes similar to/ the same as coconut.)

  • Noun + be + like + Noun

Your bag is like my bag.

  • Like + noun, + clause

Like his father, he is a technician.

  • Like + pronoun

I have a hat like yours.

  • When we use like to mean ‘similar to’, we can put words and phrase such as a bit, just, very, so and more before it to talk about the degree of similarity

The car was more like a green than a blue color.


  • Alike as an adjective means ‘the same’ or ‘similar
  • As an adjective, alike is only used after a verb such as beseemlook, but not before a noun

For example:

My two friends are alike. (My two friends are the same.)

His ideal and her ideal are quite similar, but they are not totally alike. (His ideal and her ideal are quite similar, but they are not totally the same.)

  • Noun and Noun + be + alike/Plural Noun + be + alike

Your bag and my bag are alike.

These bags are alike.

  • As an adverb alike means ‘in the same way

I don’t think you treat both children alike.

When to Use Like and Alike | Image


Diego Mata

Friday 27th of May 2022

Thank you so much.


Wednesday 24th of November 2021

Your explanation of like and alike is excellent. I am helping a young woman with ESL and yours is the best explanation and illustration I have found. Thank you.

Adriana Vejarano

Thursday 16th of September 2021

Thank you for you help