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November 11, 2011 - Word of the Day: alike

When things or people are similar, we say that they are "alike." Watch the video below:

Lemons and limes are similar in some ways. They are both sour and they have similar shapes. However, a lemon is yellow and a lime is green. They also have a slightly different taste.

lemons
limes
lemons
limes

Lemons and limes are alike.

You can also use "like" when making comparisons, but pay attention to the word order.

  • Dogs are like wolves.
  • Dogs and wolves are alike.
  • A pencil is like a pen.
  • A pencil and a pen are alike.
  • A bush is like a tree.
  • A bush and a tree are alike.

You can use "alike" if the differences are small. If the differences are large, use "not" in front of "alike."

  • Those two people are not alike. One is very tall and the other is very short.
  • A watermelon and a cherry are not alike. They are two very different pieces of fruit.
  • A car is not like a bus at all. One is used for personal transportation while the other is used for mass transit.

You can also use the prefix "un."

  • Those two people are unalike.
  • A watermelon and a cherry are unalike.
  • A car and a bus are unalike.

Note: If you have to make the negative, it's easier to use "not."

 

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