Expressions: 'He is like a fool to me', 'He is a fool to me'


Is there any difference between the following sentences?

1- He is a fool to me.
2- He is like a fool to me.

If the first sentence is also correct, could I say then?

1- I cannot go shopping with anyone fool to me?



They are all odd, Tom. What do you wish to say?

Dear Mr Micawber

I am not really sure if the given expressions are correct, but I have been using them like this.

1- She is like a mother to me.
( used for some respected elderly lady whom one regards as a mother)

2- He is like a teacher to me.

If these expression are grammatically correct, then why I cannot say:

1- He is like a fool to me.
( I intend to say that I look at him or consider him a fool)


It is a problem of collocation. Like a father/mother to me is a set expression, but the others are not. You will have to remain within the normal grammar:

He seems like a fool to me.

It seems to me that it must be an active relationship, and must be similar to another active but restricted relationship. Even like a teacher seems odd, as teaching can be undertaken by anyone, while only a single individual can actually be one’s father or mother.

I think Mister Micawber has hit the nail on the head with his last explanation, with 'relationship ’ being the keyword.

If I could just add something to that – the expression ‘she is like a mother to me’ doesn’t mean ‘to me, she seems to be a mother’ or ‘to me, she looks like a mother’. What it amounts to saying is ‘I consider her my mother (or my second mother)’. This expression is used in a loving way. Therefore, ‘I consider him my fool’ hardly makes any sense, unless perhaps he is your personal jester or buffoon :slight_smile: !

A bit of a brainteaser, Tom, as your questions often are (to me, at least) – just keep on thinking (and make us think in the process)!!