I have a question regarding the phrase 'like normal' in the sentence ' Why didn't you dress like normal.' In this case 'like' is a preposition, which should mean it has to be followed by a noun or pronoun, but the word 'normal' is neither. How does one explain this?

I came to believe is that the noun after normal is omitted, and the full sentence should be 'Why didn't you dress like normal people.' Is my conclusion correct? Or perhaps 'like normal' is an adjectival phrase?

Many thanks for answering.

  • The more natural sentence for me would "Why didn't you dress like you normally do?" – Tom B Dec 5 '16 at 13:40
  • But like normal is still grammatically correct isn't it? Or should I put 'as normal'? Either way may you please explain to me the functions of the phrase? Also I don't mean dress like you normally do, I just want another way to express 'dress normally', a less confusing one as dress normally implies that what is not normal is the way I dress not the actual dress. – JUNCINATOR Dec 5 '16 at 13:53
  • I am not quite sure what you are requesting here, however my suggestion based on your comment, would be to use the phrase "Why didn't you dress in normal clothing?" – Chris Rogers Dec 5 '16 at 22:59
  • Sorry if it is confusing, as I am pretty confused as well. Thanks for the suggestion 'Why didn't you dress in normal clothing?', I meant exactly that. However surely there are different ways to express the same idea, and I would like to know if 'Why didn't you dress normally/as normal' would carry the same meaning. To break this question done, let me ask this - does 'dress normally' strictly describe HOW they dress? What if the way I put my clothes on is normal but the clothes themselves are very unusual, can I still say 'dress normally'? Can the phrase 'dress normally' describe both? – JUNCINATOR Dec 6 '16 at 4:11

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