SKILL 59: DISTINGUISH LIKE ALIKE, AND UNLIKE


“Like, alike, and unlike” are easily confused because they look so similar and they have many different uses. There are several structures with like, alike, and unlike that you should be familiar with.

The first structures you should already be familiar with are the adjectives “alike” and “like” (see Skill 50). Study the use of “alike” and “like” in the following examples.

John and Tom are alike.
John and Tom worked in a like manner.

In both these examples, “alike” and “like” are adjectives that mean similar.
In the first example, “alike” is a predicate adjective describing John and Tom. Because “alike” is a predicate adjective, it can only be used after a linking verb such as “are”.
In the second example, “like” is the adjective form that is used immediately before the noun manner:

The next structures you should be familiar with are the prepositions “like” and “unlike”, which have opposite meanings. Because they are prepositions, they must be followed by objects.

John is (like Tom).
John is (unlike Torn).

In the first example, the preposition “like” is followed by the object “Tom”. It means that Tom and John are similar.
In the second example, the preposition “unlike” is followed by the object “Tom”. It means that Tom and John are not similar.
The prepositions “like” and “unlike” can also be used at the beginning of a sentence.

(Like Tom), John is tall.
(Unlike Tom), John is tall.

In the first example, the preposition “like” is followed by the object “Tom”. It means that “Tom” is tall.
In the second example, the preposition “unlike” is followed by the object “Tom”. It means that Tom is not tall.





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