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-el vs -a correlatives: When to use which?

This feels like a simple question, but I've had a very difficult time figuring it out. I've tried reading about it in the PMEG, but my Esperanto just isn't strong enough to really be certain about what I'm looking at. To give you some examples:

She is such a good actor. I think of him like a brother. This is so delicious. I sleep like a rock.

Which correlative should I use in these examples? I understand that the -el correlatives modify verbs, and the -a correlatives modify nouns; but I still struggle to understand which one I should use in which situations. Looking at the sentences I provided:

Sxi estas kia bona aktorino. Sxi estas kiel bona aktorino.

Mi pensas pri li kia frato. Mi pensas pri li kiel frato.

Cxi tiu estas tia bongusta. Cxi tiu estas tiel bongusta.

Mi dormas kia sxtono. Mi dormas kel sxtono.

Surely I can't be alone in this challenge? I used to think that I had this figured out, but the more I progress in the course the more I'm getting it mixed up. Can anybody please explain this or help me find a resource - in English - that I can use as a reference to really figure this out?

3 years ago