AS and LIKE used as prepositions do not express the same meaning.
AS expresses the role, function/capacity of a person or thing.
Consider the following examples:
- AS a mother, my friend attends to the basic needs of her children.
In this sentence, my friend does a mother’s role. She is the mother.
- My neighbor earns much AS an electrician.
Here, my neighbor’s role is that of an electrician. He is an electrician.
- Stop using your teeth AS a nail cutter.
Here, the teeth function as a nail cutter.
- AS a resource person, the professor discusses the topic with authority.
Here, the professor acts in his capacity as a resource person.
- Many go abroad AS tourists.
LIKE, on the other hand, expresses comparison. It implies a resemblance or similarity between two persons, groups, or things. It means “similar to, “ “resembles,” “ in the same way,” “in the same manner.”
Consider these examples:
- LIKE a mother, the teacher attends to the basic needs of her pupils in school.
The teacher is not the mother of the pupils but she acts “ in a similar way.”
- My neighbor earns much LIKE a professional electrician.
Here, my neighbor is not a professional electrician but his income is similar to that of a professional.
- Stop quarreling LIKE cats and dogs.
The ones quarreling are human beings compared to cats and dogs.
- The couple’s house is LIKE a stockroom.
Here, the house is similar to a stockroom.
- Some members of the choir sing LIKE angels.
REMINDER: AS and LIKE used as prepositions are followed by a noun, a pronoun or a prepositional phrase, not by a subordinate clause.*