Usage of the word "like"


In the sentence:

"John is not a chocolate lover, like Mary."

Is Mary a chocolate lover?


I find this sentence structure even in an expensive University text book:

"However, the pigment is not believed to be toxic, like its nutrient cousin, vitamin A."

(Prentice, William E.; Arnheim, Daniel D. (2010-03-06). Arnheim's Principles of Athletic Training: A Competency-Based Approach (Kindle Location 5057). McGraw-Hill Higher Education -A. Kindle Edition.)


Does that mean vitamin A is or is not harmful in high doses?


I think the problem is that the phrase that begins with the word "like" could refer either to the beginning or the ending of the main clause. And since the main clause has two opposing ideas, the meaning of the "like" phrase is ambiguous.

ambiguity asked Apr 13 '13 at 12:56 English Teacher New member

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