The weird thing about English is how one little word can change the meaning of a phrase. Sometimes, it can change the phrase so it has a completely new meaning. But at other times, it just changes it so that the meaning is ever so slightly different.
Today, I want to look at the subtle difference between “leave it as it is” and “leave it as is”. There is a difference, but it’s so subtle that even most English speakers don’t know about it.
Is It “Leave It As It Is” Or “Leave It As Is”?
“Leave it as it is” means “it’s excellent how it is”. “Leave it as is” means “it’s not perfect but it’ll do”. Therefore, you would use “leave it as it is” when you are fully satisfied and “leave it as is” when you are not fully satisfied.
Leave It As It Is: When It’s Good- And Should Not Be Tampered With
First of all, we have “leave it as it is”.
This should be said when something is excellent, or even perfect. It’s so good that there is no need to change it and doing so will just ruin it.
Because it can’t get much better, changing it would just be foolish. For example, if I cook a perfect soup, but you want to add salt, I might say “no! Leave it as it is”. Which lets you know my soup is great and you adding salt would just ruin it.
Sometimes, you will probably say this to people who think they know better.
8 Examples Of Leave It As It Is
- “I’ve spent 40 hours working on that. I’ve dedicated a lot of hours to get it this good. Just leave it as it is. I don’t need you ruining it for me”
- “Leave it as it is. I went to private school, so I think I know how to do this better than you do”
- “This guy has an eye for detail. If you change just one tiny thing, he’ll notice. Just leave it as it is and you’ll be fine”
- “My story has interested people from Netflix. I think I should just leave it as it is. Any chances and it might lose what they liked about it”
- “This school took me 3 years just to design. It’s perfect. Leave it as it is, and get started on hiring the builders”
- “£300 has gone into this project. Our first video is ready. Don’t edit it any more. Just leave it as it is, and the channel should be a huge success”
- “No, I don’t want you to repaint my table. Leave it as it is, I like it this way”
- “Don’t download anything else onto the app. Leave it as it is.”
Leave It As Is: When It’s Not Great- But It’ll Have To Do
If you take one “it” away, you get “leave it as is”.
This phrase also means “leave it” but has slightly different implications.
Most of the stuff we do is not perfect. But perfection takes time, which we don’t always have. When the imperfections are so minor that nobody will notice, or there is a deadline, we may have to submit sub-par work.
“Leave it as is” is saying “Look, I get it’s not perfect. But for one reason, or another, I’m not going to improve it, so we’ll just have to send it as it is.”
7 Examples Of Leave It As Is
- “The boss wants this report done by 12pm today. I know it’s missing some of the numbers that Janet from accounts gave me. But, if we just leave it as is, he hopefully won’t notice”
- “Maybe this painting won’t be going next to the Mona Lisa anytime soon. But just leave it as is, after all, most of the people viewing it probably don’t know much about art anyway”
- “If we just leave it as is, the worst that will happen is he sends it back and we have to do it again. But he’s so impatient, if he can’t wait, he can put up with subpar products”
- “I made a cake that was a bit dry. But I decided to leave it as is. After all, it was nothing some icing couldn’t sort out”
- “I forgot to water my plant today. But I’m going to leave it as is so I can get some proper fertilizer”
- “There is nothing you can say to me to try and improve this. I know it’s rubbish, but I don’t care. I’m going to leave it as is.”
- “There will be no ‘leave it as is’ in this company. Our customers want nothing but the best from us”
Don’t Worry If You Use “Leave It As It Is” When You Should Use “Leave It As Is”
As we’ve already established, “leave it as it is” and “leave it as is” do have slightly different meanings. And when you can, make sure to use the correct one.
Even if people can’t always tell the difference, at least if you know them, you’ll be able to use language correctly.
But, if one day you forget, or you speak to someone who doesn’t read GrammarHow (if such people exist), the world won’t implode.
Even though the two have different meanings, they sound so similar that most people won’t even notice if you use the wrong one.
Alternative Ways To Say “Leave It As It Is”
Of course, there is more than one way of saying, “leave it as it is”. Here is a list of just a few of them…
- Let it be
- It’s fine how it is
- Don’t change it
- It’s perfect
- Sling your hook
- Refrain from changing it
- giver over
- Keep it the way it is
- Too many cooks spoil the soup
- Don’t touch it
- It’ll do
- Don’t worry about it
- leave it alone
- keep it like that
- change it and you’ll just ruin it
If you speak to most native English speakers, most of them won’t realise that there is a difference between “leave it as it is” and “leave is as is”.
“leave it as it is” is what you say when it’s brilliant, and changing it would take away some of that brilliance. But “leave is as is” is what you say when it’s far from perfect, but because of time or laziness, you’re not going to change it.
Of course, most people won’t notice if you use these terms interchangeably. But that doesn’t mean you have to. There is a difference. And the difference between the two does make sense. So, next time, think twice about which phrase you use.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.