"Like/Just as" Confusion

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"Like/Just as" Confusion

by adamk » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:37 am
Like John McPhee's works, Ann Beattie painstakingly assembles in her works an interesting and complete world out of hundreds of tiny details about a seemingly uninteresting subject.
(A) Like John McPhee's works, Ann Beattie painstakingly assembles in her works
(B) Like John McPhee, Ann Beattie's works painstakingly assemble
(C) Like John McPhee, Ann Beattie painstakingly assembles in her works
(D) Just as John McPhee's, so Ann Beattie's works painstakingly assemble
(E) Just as John McPhee, Ann Beattie painstakingly assembles in her works

OA is C. Could someone please give me a clearcut sort of a demarkation between the usage of Just as and Like.

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by blindtea » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:06 am
The confusion is between Answer C and E.
My understanding is that "AS" is used when the phrase has both a VERB and a SUBJECT.

Therefore, we can eliminate answer "E" because there is no verb in the phrase and it uses "AS".

Here's another forum discussing "AS vs. LIKE"
https://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/lik ... t1517.html

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by Karen » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:28 pm
It's basically what blindtea said. You use "just as" when you're going to follow it with a subject and verb: "Just as Thoreau advocated a return to nature, so David spoke out in defense of the natural world." You use "like" when it's followed by just a noun: "Just like Thoreau, David spoke out in defense of the natural world."

The reason people get confused is that it's easy to start asking yourself irrelevant questions like "Is the sentence really talking about Thoreau or about what Thoreau wrote? How do I know what it's really comparing?"

The thing is, it doesn't matter what the sentence "is really talking about." What matters are just the words that the writer used. The writer could compare the exact same thing in 2 different ways. But if it's done with a subject and verb, use "as." If it's done with just a noun, use "like."
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by adamk » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:43 pm
Thanks alot blindtea and Karen...the explanations really helped.