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I am confused on the use of Like and As in this question. Please post your answer with explanation.
For some reason the new consultant treats his clients <B>like idiots, talking to them like they</B> were mentally deficient and incapable of understanding more than the simplest ideas.
(A) like idiots, talking to them like they
(B) as if they were idiots, talking to them like they
(C) like idiots, talking to them as if they
(D) as idiots, talking to them like they
(E) like idiots who
them/they in C can refer to idiots or customers?. 'like idiots' with out any qualification could mean the name of a customer rather than generic trait the sentence is trying to convey. E is more concise and gets the point across, with a qualifying who clause.
great explanation jpv Just to add that another problem with E is that it suddenly reverts to simple past tense while the first part is in present tense. C properly connects with the verb "were" by introducing the subjunctive mood
absolute phrases, as opposed to participial phrases, do not modify any specific word. Instead, they modify a whole sentence or the idea behind it but they can have a present/past participle in the structure.
Participial phrases act as adjectives modify a specific noun.
after much soul searching I have come with an interesting method of dealing like vs as type questions.
You use "like" to compare similar/consistent nouns....you use "as" when you compare verbs! you shoule use "as" when you cite examples....never use "like"!
you should use "as" when you compare two different things....which are not similar.....remember like is only used for similar objects...usually nouns!