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Let’s start with this tough topic. This is the question- If I want to say ´como´, do I use Like, As or How?
Let´s begin with How– It´s the easiest to understand and to explain:
– How is used in a question:
How (on earth) did you know that?
How does James like his eggs- fried, scrambled , or boiled ?
– How is used to say ´la manera de…´
In Spanish you say for example: ´No sé hacer eso´ or ´Te enseño usar las preposiciones´. In English we say ´No sé como hacer eso´, ´Te enseño como usar las preposiciones.´
These are the most common combinations:
Show or Teach or Tell or Ask (somebody) how to do something
‘Let me show you how to make a Spanish omelette.’
Learn or Know how to do something
‘I´m learning how to drive’
– Like vs As
So far so good (hasta ahora bien)- now it gets a bit more complicated. We´ll understand better if we use an example-
I work as a teacher. (That’s his job)
I work like a donkey. (It’s a comparison……- Nobody pays this person to be a donkey!)
-As is ´como´ as a reality, Like is ´como´ = parecido a. Shall we look at another example?
As a child, I used to spend my summers in my granny’s village.
When he starts with the playstation he is like a child!
Como niño in the first sentence can be translated as siendo niño or Cuando era niño, but in the second you can say parece un niño.
Another good example:
‘You look happy!’ = Pareces alegre (probablemente porque estas alegre)
‘You look like your older sister.’ = Te pareces a tu hermana mayor (pero tu no eres tu hermana)
‘As your sister, I think you should speak to dad about this’ = Como tu hermana (pero es que soy tu hermana) creo que deberías hablar sobre eso con papa.
OK? Sorted out? Just two more things:
1) Como at the start of a sentence to mean ´dado que’ is As
As there were no buses, we took a taxi, or……
As I mentioned earlier in the meeting……
(Americans often use ‘Like’ in this situation, but you want to learn British English, so don’t do it!)
2) If you want to say Como as an example, use like, and sometimes, such as:
Countries like / such as Italy or Spain….. I admire people like Martin Luther King or Aung San Suu Kyi.
‘as………as’ means ‘tan……………….como’ = My brother isn’t as clever as me.
as soon as = tan pronto como = Let me know what you’re going to do as soon as possible (In email and mobile messaging the abbreviation is ASAP)
As long as = ‘mientras’ in a limited sense = As long as you are happy, I am too. (Not in the past, for example:
As long as While I was cooking, my wife was watching TV.
As far as = en cuanto a = As far as I´m concerned, he can go to hell!
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