What's the correct usage of both terms? Is it possible to use both constructions interchangeable?

Like in these examples:

  • It's something/somewhat like that.
  • It sounds somewhat/something like jazz.
  • It looks somewhat/something like the old one.

Is 'kind of' + 'like' also possible in those examples?

  • 4
    The practical meaning is the same. "Kind of like" is quite informal but has the same meaning.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 21:48
  • 1
    I think a dictionary will show you're right. Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 23:09
  • @TimR - I knew this guy who said 'kinda like' about every three to five words. Grrr. Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 8:17
  • @MichaelHarvey In those cases it helps to pretend you're a tourist who finds the local speech habits charming.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


"Kind of like", "something like" and "somewhat like" have similar meanings. They are mostly interchangeable.

"Something like" is a general, common, idiomatic phrase.

"Somewhat like" is a bit less common, more literary, and it seems to emphasis the difference. After this expression you might hear about why the things aren't the same.

"Kind of like" is more colloquial and informal. It would not be found in a scientific journal. Actually none of them would, due to the presence of word "like". In a scholarly essay choose something like: "somewhat similar in nature to".

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