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The Preposition - As

The Preposition - As

 

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Requirements

As


Hello! In this lesson, we will learn to use the word "as". The word "as" has myriad meanings and usages, but in this lesson we will concentrate on a few of the most common usages. The word "as" is also used in a common idiom which we will practice.

A very common usage of the word "as" is the "as …as" combination, which is used to express similarity or equality in a specified characteristic, condition, for instance, between one person or thing and another. Using the expression with this meaning, we could say "Our car is as big as their car.", which means that our car is as big as their car or "Our car is not as big as their car." which means that our car is smaller than their car.

Another common usage of the word "as" is in the role or function of. Using the word in that way, we could say, for example, "David sometimes works as a basketball coach at the recreation center."

The word "as" is sometimes used as a relative pronoun, and has the same meaning as "that, who," or "which". When it is used in that way, we could say, for example, "I saw same movie as you saw.". In that case, we could also say, "I saw the same movie that you saw.".

We sometimes use the word "as" to mean at the same time or when. For example, we could say "Please close the door as you leave." We could also say "Please close the door when you leave.".

These are the most common meanings of the word "as". Now that we have an idea of how to use the word "as", let us listen to a dialog.

Jennifer: Shhhh. Don't slam the door as you come in.

David: (quietly) Why not?

Jennifer: I'm watching the neighbor's baby.

David: Okay. I'll be as quiet as I can.

Jennifer: I'm not very good as a babysitter.

David: Of course you are. You're as good as anybody else.

Jennifer: Shhh. Be quiet as you take off your jacket.

David: I'll be as quiet as a mouse. (taking off jacket, tiptoeing)

Jennifer: Good. He's still sleeping. (sitting down to relax)
Baby: Waaaahhhhhhhh (Jennifer stands up, knowing she will be busy)

Jennifer goes to the door to tell David "Shhhh. Don’t slam the door as you come in.". She uses the word "as" with its temporal meaning. She could also have said "Don’t slam the door when you come in.".

David is puzzled. He asks quietly "Why not?". He could have said "Why shouldn't I slam the door?" or "Why shouldn't I?".

Jennifer explains "I'm watching the neighbor's baby.". She means that she is taking care of the neighbor's baby. She could have said "I am babysitting with the neighbor's baby." or "I am taking care of the neighbor's baby.".

David answers "Okay. I'll be as quiet as I can.". In this statement, David uses the "as … as" combination, which means he will be as quiet as he possibly can. He could have said "I will be as quiet as I can be." or "I will be as quiet as possible.".

Jennifer must have had trouble getting the baby to sleep, because she confesses "I am not very good as a babysitter." In this statement, Jennifer is using the word "as" to mean in her role or function. She could have said "I am not a very good babysitter.".

David reassures her by saying "Of course you are. You're as good as anybody else.". In this statement, David uses the combination "as … as" to comment on Jennifer's babysitting skills. He assures her that she is as good a babysitter as anybody else.

Jennifer reminds him to be very quiet. She says "Shh. Be quiet as you take off your jacket.". She uses the word "as" in its temporal meaning. She could have said "Be quiet when you take off your jacket.".

David uses a common idiom "as quiet as a mouse" which means (translate as quiet as a mouse) as he assures Jennifer that he will be quiet.

Finally, David and Jennifer get to sit down, and Jennifer is relieved when she sighs and says "Good. He's still sleeping." She could have said "He's still asleep.".

But the baby wakes up, and Jennifer knows she will be busy until the neighbor comes to pick up her baby.

Now that we have heard the dialog, let us listen again. Listen for the various usages of the word "as".

Jennifer: Shhhh. Don't slam the door as you come in.

David: (quietly) Why not?

Jennifer: I'm watching the neighbor's baby.

David: Okay. I'll be as quiet as I can.

Jennifer: I'm not very good as a babysitter.

David: Of course you are. You're as good as anybody else.

Jennifer: Shhh. Be quiet as you take off your jacket.

David: I'll be as quiet as a mouse. (taking off jacket, tiptoeing)

Jennifer: Good. He's still sleeping. (sitting down to relax)

Baby: Waaaahhhhhhhh!

The baby is crying, but you can be happy that you have learned another versatile little word in English. "Speak English. Don't be as quiet as a mouse.".