Like vs. as if

Hello! How are you?

1.- They fly like (the) bats.
2.- They fly as if they were bats.
3.- They look as if they were bats.
4.- They look like (the) bats.

My questions:

1.- I am trying to say their flight is like the bat?s one.
I thought of several possibilities, but I really hesitate
if all of them mean that thing. I am afraid 3 and 4 mean
they are like the bats but physically speaking.

By the way, Can I omit the definite article in
sentences one and four?

2.- In all sentences I used “like/as if”. Like+ noun;
As if+ sentence. Can
I replace “Like” with “as if” and meaning the same
same thing?. It seemed to me quite strange the
use of a long way for saying something that
can really be short just using “like”. But, well…

Thank you very much!


Dear Jesus

When you use plural form there is no need to use THE unless you are pointing at something. For example,

1- The cat is a cleanly animal (all cats in general) OR
2- Cats are cleanly animals.

1- The dog is a faithful animal. = Dogs are faithful animals.


1- Books are expensive. (all books in general)
2- The books are expensive. ( some particular books that
you may want to buy at a depot)

1- She does not like salt ( general)
2- Can you pass me the salt? ( you may say this sentence
at your dining table :smiley: pointing at the salt there)

Now your sentences:

1- They fly like bats. (correct)
2- They fly as if/ as though they were bats.(correct)
3- They look like bats.(depends on the discussion that is
going on, whether they are dressed in black or hanging
from a tree or whatever… Look at the sentences below.

4- Look at the children performing on the stage. They really look like bats.

5- “So many crows in the sky!” “Crows!? They really look like bats to me.”

I hope this helps a bit.
And wait for Amy, Conchita, Jamie, Alan or Mr. Micawber


Hi Jes?s

Tom explained things pretty well, I think. :wink:

Answers to your questions:
Sentences 1+2 describe the way they fly.
Sentences 3+4 describe the appearance.

You must omit the definite article in sentences 1+4 unless you want to talk about some specific bats that you know (the ones living in your garage, for example. :lol:)

You cannot repalce “like” with “as if” unless you also change the structure of the sentence (as in sentences 2 + 3).


Hi!. I understood everything you said. Thanks a million!