My textbook only considers the sentence with "what" to be correct, but I can't see why "as" doesn't work.

But car ownership is not as it was.
But car ownership is not what it was.


Your textbook is correct, what is correct.

Definition of as:

used in comparisons to refer to the extent or degree of something

Here it is not being used as a comparison.

You could compare it to something making it a simile in the same sentence:

But car ownership is not as popular as it was

|improve this answer|||||
  • I wonder! According to this rule, it is incorrect to write: Things are not as they used to be but it would be correct to write things are not as good as they used to be. – Ronald Sole Dec 2 '18 at 17:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.