If the verb "to like" means "to love" or "to appreciate", then the corresponding verb in Portuguese will be "gostar de", "apreciar". If it is a comparison, than the corresponding will be the conjunction "como".
Her nephews like her chesse (they love it, they appreciate it) - Seus sobrinhos gostam do seu queijo.
His nephews are like him - Seus sobrinhos são como ele.
Yes, you are correct. I am confusing the two. However, I don't think the word "like" in English is considered a conjunction. For example, in the sentence "Her nephews like cheese" like isn't connecting two independent clauses or an independent clause to a dependent one. If you remove the word "like", the entire sentence falls apart. See http://www.english-grammar-revolution.com/list-of-conjunctions.html for more details on conjunctions in English.
This begs the question, is "like" considered a conjunction in Portuguese?
According to BBC, it may be a conjunction. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv63.shtml
In the sentence "Her nephews like cheese", like is not a conjunction. It's a verb. That's why the phrase falls apart.
If we elaborate a little more the sentence I gave as example, we can see like behaves as a conjunction:
His nephews are drunks like their uncle [is].
The second sentence is glued to the first by the conjunction, and it is subordinated (dependent) to the first.
About the question whether "like" in Portuguese is a conjunction (I will interprete that you wanted to know if "como" is a conjunction in Portuguese, since we have no "like" in our language), any good dictionary will tell you that. You don't have to believe me. But I can assure you I have no reason to lie or try to confuse you here. I am just trying to help.
Houaiss Dictionary http://126.96.36.199/
Wesleyjefferson, forgive me if I came across as doubting you. That's not the case at all. My questions where asked only to the end of better understanding Portuguese. The contributions you and other native speakers make are invaluable, and make DL that much better! Thanks for sharing so much!
The word "como" is related to the English conjunctions "as" and "since" and possibly other words. [http://dictionary.reverso.net/portuguese-english/como].
Oh, yes, thank you for pointing it out, I knew "como" translates "like" although the dictionary shows that usage as an adverb rather than a conjunction so I didn't mention it.
Maybe this summary will add a bit to your discussion of the English word "like" as a conjunction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Like.
Here's my reasoning. Even if both versions are valid they are not equivalent as the literal translations show:
- The nephews (of her) like cheese.
- Nephews (of her) like cheese.
The first version is talking about the taste of specific individuals. The alternative version states a general trait. I don't think "Her nephews like cheese" is meant to imply that her future nephews are bound to like cheese.