Today I've come across an English sentence that is "Something is as we would like it to be."

According to English grammar and the context, I think "as" there can only be an adverb and "we would like it to be" functions as an adjective (clause). Could anybody please confirm this?

Moreover, I would think that some sentence like "Something is as what we would like it to be." also works well in English where "as" functions as a preposition. However internet search did not show any result. I am quite confused. Could you please explain why?


2 Answers 2


Something is [as we would like it to be].

No: "as" is here a preposition in a comparative construction where there is a comparison between two states.

The clause we would like it to be functions as complement of "as", and the as phrase functions as predicative complement of "be" (i.e. "is").

We understand "Something is x, we'd like it to be y; x=y"

  • Thanks a lot. However now what you said is what I am confused. Because if "as" in the sentence "Something is as we would like it to be" is a preposition then, to my best knowledge, we need "what", i.e. "Something is as what we would like it to be". If we can omit "what" here, what will happen if we omit "what" in the sentence "Something is as what you want". Or simply it also works? So the sentence would become "Something is as we want."?
    – Ng.
    Mar 24, 2022 at 12:56
  • 1
    @Ng. It's OK as it is. You can't add "what".
    – BillJ
    Mar 24, 2022 at 14:06

The parse is not: think as. The parse (how to read the sentence parts) is: is as x, from the form: to be as something.

This is known as a simile in English: A simile says that one thing "is like" or "is as … as" another thing. A metaphor says that one thing "is" another thing. Metaphors do not use the words "like" or "as" in their comparisons. [One "as" is possible too.]


"Something is as we would like it to be." Something is compared to what we would like it to be.

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