Can I don’t run fast like him mean he runs fast and he doesn’t run fast both? It’s very confusing to me.

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    "I don't run fast like him" means he runs fast. "I don't run fast, like him" means he doesn't run fast. "Like him" post-postively modifies "fast" when there's no comma. When there is a comma, it separates it from what immediately precedes it and signals that it modifies the subject-verb, so it's the same as saying, "Like him, I don't run fast," or "I, like him, don't run fast." Commented May 8, 2021 at 5:24

2 Answers 2


Yes, this statement is ambiguous. It can mean:

  1. I don't run fast, the way he does [run fast].
  2. Like him, I [also] don't run fast.

In sentence 1, you are saying he does run fast; in sentence 2 you are saying he doesn't.

As a native American English speaker I would assume you mean it the first way, but it is not 100% clear.


As others said, it’s a bit ambiguous. If you mean “we both don’t run fast” I’d add a comma in writing: I don’t run fast, like him. In spoken English there would be a little pause before “like him”.

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