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Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large
"Consider" and "consider as"
Tuesday November 25th 2008
Question
"Consider" and "consider as"
Answer

Bao has asked about the use of the verb consider (in its "to think of or regard (someone or something) in a specified way" sense) with as following it. He presents four pairs of sentences and asks which is more common:

 

He considers me as his best friend.

He considers me his best friend.
 

These workers are considered as a high-ranking group.

These workers are considered a high-ranking group.

 
I consider him as clever.

I consider him clever.

I consider activities such as jogging and weightlifting as unnatural.

I consider activities such as jogging and weightlifting unnatural.



Editor Emily Brewster responds:

In all four cases, the sentences without as are more idiomatic. However, as the article at consider in Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage states, "as constructions are perfectly idiomatic but are not as common in recent use as they have been in the past. Nonetheless, they are still in use and are standard."

 
That being said, the versions below sound more natural and current to my ears:

He considers me (to be) his best friend.

These workers are considered (to be) a high-ranking group.

I consider him clever.

I consider activities such as jogging and weightlifting unnatural.

 
Note that none of the sentences included at this sense of the word in MWALED include as:


3 [+ obj] : to think of or regard (someone or something) in a specified way ▪ I consider the price (to be) too high. ▪ We consider careful work (to be) essential. ▪ We consider it an honor to have you here with us tonight. ▪ a television program that is considered one of the best comedies ever ▪ He considers himself to be a great writer. ▪ Consider yourself lucky/fortunate that you survived the accident. [=you are lucky to have survived the accident]
 
It appears that the consider + as construction is becoming less and less common.

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