4

Looking at the idiom "as is", I see that it's used for damaged goods on sale, but Collin's examples are not used in this manner.

  • It's a way of shaping the new year according to our will, as is the practice of making predictions. Wired (2004)
  • Detectives are investigating the man's death, as is standard. Seattle Times (2004)
  • The researchers gave baboons and monkeys the same amount of the drug as is often taken at all-night rave parties. Chicago Sun-Times (2002)

So.. when it's 'as it is' (OK. It was my bad assumption.) you omit the 'it'? For example,

We were hoping to finish it by next week—as it is, it may be the week after. (Oxford Learner's Dictionary)

Can I omit the 'it' and say "…as is, it may be the week after"?

As suggested:

Collin's definition for 'as is': (US)(informal) just as it is; without any changes (said of damaged goods being sold) [the source]

But Wikipedia says it's a legal term. [the source]

Oxford Learner's Dictionary talks about 'as it is': "considering the present situation; as things are". [the source]

  • While "as is" can be used for the condition of damaged goods being sold, that is not necessarily the case. It means that the item is in its current condition, not any other condition that the buyer may expect. It does not necessarily mean damaged, though it could be. Also, I think you should include the definition for "as is" that you found in your question, for reference. – user3169 May 22 '14 at 19:17
  • 1
    It's bit too late at night for me to write about anything non-trivial, so I will leave this link instead: macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/as. In there, you will find two definitions of "as is", and two definitions of "as it is", which, I think, could help you understand all these subtleties. – Damkerng T. May 22 '14 at 22:10
3

The answer to your last question is no, you can't. On the other hand, you could add an it into the phrase sold as is and convey the same meaning. As it is has the meaning of "in the present state". If you find the words as is with this meaning (and I can't think of any usage of the phrase that does so other than the "damaged goods for sale" one that you have brought up), you can add the "it" into it. However, you can't take it out and keep the meaning.

Now, the other examples of as is that you have either mean which is or that is; your examples where as is preceded by a comma can substitute which, and the other can substitute that, without substantially changing the meaning.

  • 1
    And both the use of "as is" as simile, and the use of "as it is" as an idiom to describe current state of the world are completely different from the idiom "as is" to mean "You can have these lamps as is for $30". – aestrivex May 22 '14 at 20:39
  • OK. Thanks. So sometimes 'as is' = 'which is' or 'that is'. I see that my grammar books explain 'as' as a relative pronoun along with 'but and 'than' though it's prefixed with 'quasi-'. Collins has definitions for 'as' as pronoun. – karlalou May 22 '14 at 23:55
2

"It's a way of shaping the new year according to our will, as is the practice of making predictions. Wired (2004)"

"As it is" doesn't seem to fit here. As is is used in the sense of "[also] there is another way, that being the practice of..."

"Detectives are investigating the man's death, as is standard. Seattle Times (2004)"

Here, as is means "The standard practice is [to investigate]..."

"The researchers gave baboons and monkeys the same amount of the drug as is often taken at all-night rave parties. Chicago Sun-Times (2002)"

The amount of drug given to the baboons and monkeys is the same amount that party-goers will often take at an all-night rave.

"We were hoping to finish it by next week—as it is, it may be the week after. (Oxford Learner's Dictionary)"

"We were hoping...next week, but the situation is such that it will likely be the week after [that we finish]."

In none of these cases are as is and as it is interchangeable.

1

The thing that's throwing you off here is that the phrase denoting "in its current condition" and the usages you have here are actually quite different.

A rule of thumb here is that if you can substitute the phrase "in its current condition" for the two words "as is", then it's the use denoting quality. Note that none of your examples make sense if you make that substitution, so they're all not the quality "as is".

In the example sentence, "The car is available as is", the substitution makes sense: "The car is available in its current condition."

The other usages you have here are actually comparatives.

  • The first example equates "it", the subject of the sentence, with "the practice of making predictions": "X is Y, and so is Z".

  • The second compares the whole independent clause to "the standard": "X, which is Y".

  • The third is actually subtly ambiguous: either

    1. they gave both the baboons and monkeys the identical amount of a drug often taken at late-night rave parties - not necessarily the same amount a human might take, or
    2. they gave the baboons and monkeys exactly the same amount that a human might take of a drug found at a late-night rave parties.

To make the two possible ways of parsing this last sentence clear:

The researchers gave baboons and monkeys the same amount of the drug (the researchers gave both the baboons and the monkeys the identical amount of the drug) as is often taken at all-night rave parties (which is often taken at some other not-defined dose at late-night rave parties).

The researchers gave baboons and monkeys the same amount of the drug often taken (The researchers gave baboons and monkeys a dose of the drug identical to the dose usually taken by a human) at all-night rave parties (in a specific situation).

I'm guessing out of context that the second meaning is most likely the one meant - but the other interpretation is possible. It was only when I started reading this to parse it closely that I realized it had two possible meanings, which can make a passage far harder to understand.

  • "...the phrase denoting 'in its current condition' should be punctuated 'as-is' instead." I disagree with this. The hyphenation rule that applies here is that if the compound adjective or adverb comes before the noun or verb it modifies, it should be hyphenated, and if after, it should not be. So, an "as-is sale" (as-is warranty, as-is home seller, etc.) is a sale of something that is "sold as is". The various dictionary entries back this up: while the entry titles themselves sometimes have the hyphen and sometimes don't, all the given examples (AFAICS) follow this rule. – BobRodes May 25 '14 at 20:35
  • Good point. I'll edit. – Joe McMahon May 28 '14 at 0:36

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