When it comes to correct English Grammar and Communication inputs, the destination always ends up at Sahasriya. Thats why Sahasriya provides value to students through its Interesting English series too. Everyday’s note on important aspects of English language is a standing example for the best inputs on English Grammar and Communication. Today, it is about ‘Compare To’ and ‘Compare With’.

Specificity in writing is an admirable goal. As writers, we should aim to be as specific and clear as possible, so our readers know precisely what we mean in our writing.

What Does Compare Mean?

Before looking at either of these phrases, we should look at the verb with which each phrase begins: compare.

Compare is a verb that means to examine the similarities and differences between two objects or concepts. A preposition—usually to or with—links the two nouns in the comparison, and in the sentence.

In other words, both of these phrases are used to look at two different items side by side, i.e., to compare them.

Now, let’s look at the phrases at hand.

When to Use Compare To

Grammar Compare toWhat does compare to mean? To compare something to something else is to observe or point only to likenesses between them. In other words, you are likening one thing to another, or you are making a comment about their similarities.

  • He compared their historic win to that of the 1983 Cricket World Cup win.
  • The Indian team is comparable to the World Cup winning team

The phrase compare to is used when the intent is to assert, without the need for elaboration, that two or more items are similar.

When to Use Compare With

Definition of compare with definition and definition of compare to definitionWhat does compare with mean? To compare something with something else is to place the items side by side, noting differences and similarities between them.

  • They won the championship in a clean sweep, compared with last year’s game 7 loss.
  • Let’s compare your record with your rhetoric.

The phrase compare with is used to juxtapose two or more items to illustrate similarities and/or differences.

Compare To vs. Compare With: What’s the Difference?

If you still aren’t sure of the differences between these two phrases, let’s compare two of the above examples side by side.

  • He compared their historic win to that of the 1983 Cricket World Cup win.
  • They won the championship in a clean sweep, compared with last year’s game 7 loss.

As you can see in the first example, it is saying that this year’s win is similar to the 1983 World Cup team. You are likening the two events.

In the second example, it is pointing out the differences between this two different championship wins. You are juxtaposing the events looking at their differences.

In other words, the phrase compare to is really meant to liken things together, whereas the phrase compare with is used to juxtapose things with each.

Trick to Remember the Difference

Grammar To compare to analogyHere is a helpful trick to remember compare with vs. compare to.

Compare with is used to juxtapose two or more things with each other, looking at similarities and differences.

Compare to is used when likening two things together.

You can remember to use compare to for drawing similarities by imagining that you are making an informal analogy—which is more formally stated A is to B as C is to D.

In an analogy, you draw similarities between two or more things, just like you do when you use compare to. This should stick in your mind since they both contain the word to.

Summary

Is it compare to or compare with? Compare is a verb that means to explore similarities and differences between two items.

When used with the preposition with, it refers to weighing or balancing one thing against another. When used with the preposition to, it refers to a suggestion that two things are similar.

If you need a refresher, you can always read back through this article to review the differences between these phrases.

A similar note on how to use “Different from” as against “Different than” can be found here

When it comes to Grammar and Communication and related coaching in Bengaluru or Chennai Velachery and Porur or Coimbatore the destination roads leads to Sahasriya. In IELTSPTE and many other exams, English language skills are tested. Sahasriya is the discerning name for perfecting Grammar and Communication skills.

About Sindhu Sriram

Sindhu SriramAn education enthusiast and a self-made entrepreneur in devising unique and simple ways to educate complex elements. An English language expert and a successful role-model for many aspiring trainers. Not only is she the brainchild to have founded Sahasriya, she is a top-notch and sought after English language professional

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