A: Have you talked to someone about it?

B: You mean (like) a therapist?

I believe I've heard 'like' being used in similar sentences, but what would adding it do to the question here? Thank you.

2 Answers 2


There are at least two possibilities, either of which could be the case in your exchange.

  • It's just a meaningless filler. "You mean, like, a therapist?"
  • It's the standard preposition (prepositional meaning 1a in Merriam-Webster). "You mean [someone] like a therapist?"

In practice, for your example, the sense of the reply is basically the same in either interpretation.


Like can be (over)used to provide emphasis.

As an example, in the game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All, case 2 Reunion, and Turnabout, the character Ini Miney says like about once each 5 words.

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