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I'm an English learer. I have a little question. Is it correct to say that sometimes the words "as" and "like" have the same meaning in the colloquial English?

Instead of saying "I have been teaching spanish since 2010", is it possible to say "I have been working as a Spanish teacher" or ""I have been working like a Spanish teacher"?

Do those mean different things?

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    When you say, "As a teacher...", you are a teacher. When you say, "like a teacher, you may not be a teacher, but you act like a teacher."
    – Ram Pillai
    Sep 13 '20 at 14:32
  • @RamPillai thank you very much! So for example if someone native spanish speaker who used to do a different job and had to change his job doing teacher could say "I have been working like a spanish teacher" because he started to teach without any pedagogical background. Is that right? Thanks a lot :)
    – ryuk
    Sep 13 '20 at 16:47
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    "I have been working like a Spanish teacher" is so unnatural-sounding that most Anglophones would judge it to be an error for "I have been working as a Spanish teacher". "I have been working like a ..." usually has prepositional complements '[a] dog/donkey/horse' or '... slave/Trojan' or ' ... maniac/madman/crazy ...' (idioms meaning 'very hard'). like = just as hard as (in general, in the same manner as). Prepositions are very tricky in their behaviour. 'Like father, like sun' / 'As for you, my lad ...' /... Sep 15 '20 at 16:55
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    [ 'acting like a chairman' vs 'acting as a chairman'](forum.wordreference.com/threads/…) Sep 15 '20 at 16:55
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"I have been working as a Spanish teacher" "I have been working like a Spanish teacher"

@RamPillai is right in his comments.

In your further comments on a person who does Spanish teaching without pedagogical background, as long as he works as a teacher, he should say the same way:

"I have been working as a Spanish teacher"

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  • Thank you so much! @Seowjooheng Singapore :)
    – ryuk
    Sep 15 '20 at 7:30

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