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You see me just like an object

You see me just as an object

Which one would be correct ? Also I'm afraid the sentence construction isn't ok. I have to say that some person sees (or perceives, or considers) someone else as / like an object.

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We use "as" before a noun for identification, and "like" for similarity or comparison. Thus, in "He worked as a slave", he was a slave, while in "He worked like a slave", he worked as hard as a slave but was not one. In "He spoke as a leader", he was a leader and spoke in that capacity, while in "He spoke like a leader", he spoke as if he was one, that is, he spoke in the way leaders do.

With verbs like see, consider, view, regard, we use "as" because the person or thing is identified with the way they are seen or considered. If somebody sees or considers you as a friend, from their perspective you are their friend.

In the sentence:

  • You see me just as an object.

"I" is an object from the point of view of "you".

In my experience as a teacher, there is only one verb where both prepositions are accepted without a significant change of meaning, and that is "treat":

  • You treat me as / like a child (I'm not a child, but you treat me as if I were one).
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    A side note regarding the construction, "You see me just as an object" is technically grammatically correct, but I think most people would probably use "only" instead of "just" in this case. Also, one can say either "only as" or "as only", which are both OK but have slightly different feelings. "as only an object" emphasizes the "only" a bit more so it's more like "I'm an object and you won't accept me being anything more". However, "only as an object" is a little more neutral, and has more of the sense of "I'm more than an object but you just don't care whether I am or not".
    – Foogod
    Nov 20, 2019 at 1:40
  • Thank you both, this was really clear and helpful !
    – Kazy
    Nov 20, 2019 at 1:55

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