"He's the way I was when I was young."

"He's how I was when I was young."

"He's similar to the way I was when I was young."

"He's similar to how I was when I was young."

Are all the above sentences grammatically correct? What's the difference in their meaning?

  • 1
    I think you should use the phrasal verb take after and say something idiomatic as he takes after me.
    – Schwale
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:54
  • Rather than just asking what the difference of several sentences is (because it reads like a test question), it would be better to point out the difference you are asking about. For example, in this question highlight the different words/phrases, and write the title to ask about this. The title as written is not so useful for future reference.
    – user3169
    Feb 24, 2016 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


In everyday speech, these sentences are all correct, both for grammar and usage. If you were looking for deep subtleties, there are some potential slight differences in interpretation between how/the way and similar to how/the way.

How usually implies more equality than similar to, and using similar to rather than a direct comparison like how implies you want the listener to know there are still differences.

He's how I was when I was youngHe is the very same as I was.
He's similar to how I was when I was youngHe is like I was, but maybe not exactly the same.

The distinctions are probably not major, however. If one feels more natural to you, use it.

  • So, would you say the following sentence are grammatically correct? He's solving the problem how i solved it. Feb 25, 2016 at 13:36
  • @lekonchekon Yes, that sentence is grammatically correct, and sounds natural. And, as I mention in my answer, if you said He's solving the problem similar to how I solved it, it could imply that your way of solving the problem was basically the same as his, but a little bit different.
    – derektb
    Feb 25, 2016 at 23:56

All the examples are grammatically correct and they all sound natural to me. They mean essentially the same thing, with very slight variations.

"He's the way I was when I was younger" sounds much more natural (with the 'er' on the end of young).

Someone might say one of these things when they see their little cousin and the similarities between them and how they used to be. If Bob was grumpy when he was younger but eventually grew out of it, he might see a little kid being grumpy and say "he's how I was when I was younger".

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