Background: A few months back, I started making the transition from studying sentence constructions to studying grammar. While I try to avoid generating 'Japanese translations of my English ideas,' I still find that I use the way I speak English as a starting point for constructing a Japanese sentence that doesn't quite fit anything I've yet heard (or said).
So, with that in mind...
Let's say, for the sake of example, that I'm hanging out with a couple friends at a pet store in Japan. (Apologies in advance for everything about this scenario...in particular if it sounds like a screenplay written by a five year old.) ^.^;
One friend states:
The other friend turns to me and says:
I then start thinking of a way to express the idea that, in English, I might say as: "Like our friend here, I am also fond of cats."
The problem that arises is that I don't know of a word, be it particle or not, that conveys the 'comparative' nature of the first piece, "Like our friend here..."
So, improvising a bit, I say:
My limited exposure to ほど has come in the form of constructions about "He has as much bread as she does" and the like. Still, the 'as much as' interpretation of ほど seems like it might fit. (Maybe. ^.^;)
I should also point out that I'm specifically trying to make a comparison between speaker (that is, myself) and a third-party, as opposed to speaker and listener (where I'd imagine 「私も」 would be all the comparison I'd need).
So then, my (multi-part but hopefully rhetorically homogeneous) question is, after using ほど in this context, will the native speakers hear an idea analogous to the English-language statement that I mentioned above? In other words, does ほど work at all in this context? If not, is there another word or particle that would work? (Note that I came across ぐらい as well while I was looking into this, and it seems like a possible contender...but I'm not at all acquainted with that word yet.)
And if not...is the "Like our friend..." phrase even something that would appear in Japanese? (By the way, the 'our' in that phrase is expendable. I only expected the 友達 from that phrase to survive translation.) Or is this a case of my trying to shoehorn English communication into the Japanese language?
Thanks for any insight!