1

These items don't look the same as the ones in the phots.

These items don't look the same as in the photos.

These items don't look as the ones in the photos.

Are there any differences in sense between these sentences? Are all of them grammatical?

3

If you use "in the photos" rather than "on the photos", then your first two examples are acceptable. I'd typically stick with the simpler

These items don't look the same as in the photos.

I can't explain why "as" can't be used on its own (like in the 3rd example) to make the comparison here, but it can't. There are a few cases where "as" is used on its own, like "do as I say", but when using it to make comparisons we almost always use it with an adjective, like "as fast as", "as big as", or "the same as".

  • If there's a rule name I don't know it either, but it makes sense that to make a comparison there has to be some trait or quality you are concerned with. – Don B. Apr 3 '19 at 3:01
1

If something doesn't look the same as something else, it means that they are not exactly like each other.

The first and the second sentences are grammatical and convey the same meaning. However, the second sentence without the use of "ones" is more common and idiomatic.

As for the third sentence, it's not grammatical. You don't say "look as" to talk about the similarity of two things or people. Instead, you say "look like" as follows:

These items don't look like the ones in the photos.

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