Compare to or with…

April 16, 2012 by edotgdot

During this week’s editing adventures, I came across a word choice issue when using the verb compare. When is it appropriate to write compare to and when is it correct to use compare with? Or is this an issue at all? Either to or with can be swapped in some cases, but there is a difference. With a little research, here are my conclusions:

Use compare to when…
The purpose is to liken two things or put them in the same category. So if the subjects are alike then use compare to: “I would compare my handwriting to a third grader’s.”

Use compare with when…
the end result is to juxtapose two things, place one thing side by side with another, not to examine similarities but the differences. “Our budget of $10 million is minuscule compared with last year’s budget of $50 million.”

Sources: Daily Writing Tips; The Careful Writer, Theodore M. Bernstein
 
 


No Comments »

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Recent Posts

    • Restaurant & Hospitality Resume Template

      We’re now offering resume template and content packages.
       
      The first targets the restaurant and hospitality industry: servers, bartenders, banquet captains and managers.
       
      The package includes a chronological and functional resume template, industry-related keywords and phrases as well as resume FAQs.
       
      You can’t beat the price, and right now we’re offering 50% off. Click the link to secure this limited …

      more...

    • Cover Letters 101

      You need a résumé. What about a cover letter?
       
      Some employers don’t require a letter, some do, and sometimes it is optional. Providing a cover letter, even when it isn’t required, shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile. It also shows that you’ve put thought into your application. Whether you like it or …

      more...

    • Word Crimes – Song of Summer

      Last year’s hit makes a comeback. Check out Weird Al’s Blurred Lines parody and learn a thing or two.
       
       

       
       

      more...

    • Every day or Everyday?

      . . .it’s a gettin’ closer / Goin’ faster than a roller coaster / Love like yours will surely come my way. . .  -Buddy Holly

      Everyday or every day? Well, it depends.

      Everyday is an adjective used to describe things that (1) occur every day or (2) are ordinary or commonplace. In the phrase every day, …

      more...

    • New Year – New Resolve

      Statistic Brain found that only 8 percent of us keep our new year’s resolution.

      You know the drill. We get geared up to make it happen, but we are so focused on the end result that when we don’t see immediate results we feel let down. Disappointed, deflated, burned out. You name …

      more...