Jack is not so weak ____ you. A: like, B: as

My intuition tells me it should be 'as'(B). However, according to this site and a previous post, 'like' sets up a comparison, which this sentence is trying to do.

So, I am wondering which one is correct in this context and why?


B is correct in my opinion; however, when you remove "so" as you point out, the answer can change. It really just depends upon the construction since "as" is a conjunction in this instance and "like" is a preposition. With the pronoun "you", a writer can get away with this since the subjective and oblique forms in the second person are always "you", but he can't get away with this when the pronoun is in third-person form for example:

Jack is not so weak as you (are).

Jack is not so weak as he (is).

Jack is not weak like you.

Jack is not weak like him.

I hope this might have helped you out. Take care and good luck!


As your 'intuition' tells you, the comparative construction here is not so ... as ...

This construction is fairly rare now—it has been largely replaced by not as ... as ...—but until a couple of generations ago many teachers and stylists insisted that so must be used with a negative.

  • What if we remove 'so', is "Jack is not weak like you" correct?
    – dan
    Dec 28 '17 at 1:29
  • 1
    @dan It is syntactically well-formed, but it means something different: you are weak, but Jack is not. Jack is not {so/as} weak as you means that you are both weak, but you are weaker than Jack. Dec 28 '17 at 13:51

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