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Is it possible for native speakers to tell in what way the 'like' is saying things are the same, without the knowledge about the said content? It says:

There is no special preposition in English to express the idea of being at somebody's home (like French chez, German bei, Danish/Swedish/Norwegian hos etc).

(M. Swan, Practical English Usage, §249.1)

  • like: "3. preposition - You can use like to introduce an example of the set of things or people that you have just mentioned." – user3169 Sep 4 '17 at 0:02
  • The examples given in that dictionary page are clear, but how about my example? Is the 'like' agreeing with the 'English that has no special preposition' or 'a special preposition to express the idea of being at somebody's home'? – karlalou Sep 4 '17 at 1:40
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    a special preposition ... like French chez, German bei, &c. These are prepositions which "express the idea of being at somebody's home". – StoneyB on hiatus Sep 4 '17 at 2:54
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In your question, the word "like" is being used similarly to "such as" or "for example."

While "such as" can be a better choice when you want to include a list of examples rather than compare them, "like" appears to be the most appropriate choice for your example, as it is comparing a list of other languages to English.

Alternatively, the writer could have used "e.g." (meaning "for example") to further clarify that it is a list of languages with instances differing from English.

If we rephrase it with "e.g.," you may see how "like" works here.

"There is no special preposition in English to express the idea of being at somebody's home (e.g., "chez" in French, "bei" in German, "hos" in Danish/Swedish/Norwegian, etc).

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks for your reply. Couldn't we say something like "not like the French 'chez; ..."? – karlalou Sep 4 '17 at 6:04
  • I mean if we don't know about these prepositions of other languages, how we know it's saying they are the examples of 'special prepositions' or not. – karlalou Sep 4 '17 at 18:57

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