Can we say the following sentence

I have many foreigners as my classmates.

in the following form:

I have my classmates as many foreigners.

I have seen many people speaking the last-mentioned sentence.

I tried to check the matching meaning of "as" in the above context with the meaning given in Oxford. I think the following meaning matches this context.

PREPOSITION Used to refer to the function or character that someone or something has.

Can we swap other combinations in a similar way?

  • 1
    No you can't. as in your example is not a conjunction, which would be needed to do your swap.
    – user3169
    Jan 19, 2018 at 6:38

1 Answer 1


Your second sentence doesn't make any sense, because the idiom you are using (have many X as Y) is only used when Y is something in a relationship with the subject: relatives, friends, classmates, possessions, employees, homes. "Many foriegners" is not something in any particular relationship with anybody.

  • Yes, I think this a common mistake in speaking because the speaker just starts speaking about something related to a context. But at the time of speaking, he figures out that he has actually missed a part which was required grammatically. So they just link the two words as "I have my classmates ... many foreigners." which appears to a listener as "I have my classmates as many foreigners." Jan 19, 2018 at 12:53

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