There are two sentences:

她的宝宝和小猫一样可爱 (I never ran into a sentence like the one until recently.) 她的宝宝像小猫一样可爱

Question: Are these two sentences exchangeable? Or, what is the difference between "和...一样" and "像...一样"?

Modifying my question: When comparing two unlike things, "像一样" is used.

Is it also semantically and grammatically correct to use "跟/和/同 一样" when comparing two unlike things? (My gut feeling tells it is not correct. But I cannot find any explicit explanations of the difference between these two patterns in all my textbooks.)

  • 1
    It's the difference between "as cute as a kitten" vs "cute like a kitten". Jan 2, 2015 at 0:08
  • @Wang Dingwei: The "as cute as kitten" and "cute like a kitten" are pretty much the same. "as cute as kitten" is not equivalent to "和小猫一样可爱"。 “和...一样” is equivalent to "the same as".
    – cnwang09
    Jan 4, 2015 at 15:54
  • as: to the same degree, amount, or extent; similarly; equally. Jan 4, 2015 at 23:35

3 Answers 3


In daily spoken language, these two sentences express the same thing (lovely). But there is some tiny difference. 和…一样 emphasizes the comparison, it's something like the expression as ... in English or tan...como... in Spanish. 像…一样 emphasizes the trope, it says A is similar to B so that A shares the feature "lovely" with B.


和。。。一样 seems equivalent to 跟。。。一样, and concerning the difference between 像(象)。。。一样 and 跟。。。一样,"外国人实用汉语语法"(578页) has this to say:

(五)"象"和"跟。。。一样"。 "象。。" may also occur before 一样 to form the pattern 象。。。一样, indicating the resemblance of two things while 跟(和)。。。一样 shows that the two things are the same, not only similar。 (it seems 和 can also be replaced by 同 (depending on the region))。

It would seem therefore that 和。。。一样 expresses, if not sameness (equality) at least a higher degree of similarity。

No complete agreement between different textbooks。

The 1006 pp。book 实用现代汉语语发 chapter 6, section 1,subsection 1 A 跟 B 一样 does not even mention A 像 B 一样。


。。。 "A 跟 B 一样 + 形容词/动词" 表示 A 在哪一方跟 B 一样 。

例如: 1。这个字的声调跟那个字的声调一样。2。这间屋子跟那间屋子一样大。3。她跟我一样喜欢孩子。

。。。 "跟。。。一样"作状语,后面也可以加"地",特别是所修饰的成分是一个短语时。例如:


。。。。The remaining topics in this section could possibly be illustrated by the following points and examples。



如果要表示两种事物或形状相似,可以用"跟。。。相似(近似、类似),"跟。。。差不多"等。例如: 这个故事的情节跟那个故事相似。


Chinese A Comprehensive Grammar has just 2 paragraphs concerning 跟 and 象 functioning as comparative coverbs

11。12。6。3 Comparison 象:similar to:她象她妈妈一样固执。她象爸爸一样不喜欢吃鱼。

跟:compared with:这个学期的功课跟上学期一样多。

  • In the examples you gave for (A 跟/和/同 B 一样and A像B一样), all A and B are like things. But in my sentences, A and B are unlike things. They have different nature (A is a person. B is a pet.) That's actually the question I have. In the past I only ran into "像一样" when comparing two unlike things. Can "跟和同一样" also be used when comparing two unlike things?
    – cnwang09
    Jan 1, 2015 at 13:42
  • 1
    likeness seems to be a relative notion, 宝宝 and 小猫 still share the characteristics of young age and being mammals,preceding comment may suggest answer to question (象/像 meaning similar),some speakers may feel that in case of objects belonging to different categories 象 is more appropriate。 Incidentally quoted textbooks do not mention the terms colloquial,formal,informal or spoken language in the present context。相象似乎是个相对的概念。 宝宝 和 小猫 还有这俩 共同特征,即小年龄而且属于哺乳动物。上面的评论很可能暗示对问题的答案,即也许有某些讲汉语的人觉得就属于不同的类别的生物或事物来说,"象/像"比"和"还要合适。
    – user6065
    Jan 1, 2015 at 16:18

和/跟...一样 is colloquial variation of 像...一样.

Their meanings are the same but the former ones are less formal (only used in spoken language) while the latter one can be used in both formal and informal situations.

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