Wondering whether to use the phrase ‘compare to’ or if you’re better off using ‘compare with’ instead? We’ll clear up the difference between the two, and by the time you finish reading, you’ll have enough information to use the correct phrase in a sentence appropriately.
Don’t feel like skimming? The short answer is that both phrases are acceptable, depending on how you use them.
‘Compared to’ highlights the similarity between two things.
‘Compared with’ does the opposite and contrasts two things.
So, we’ve just learned the difference between ‘compared to’ and ‘compared with.’ The former is used to compare similarities, while the latter is used to contrast differences.
If you’re trying to compare two things and how similar they are, use ‘compared to’, and if you’re trying to highlight the differences between two things, use ‘compared with.’
There are lots of phrases in the English language that trip up even native English speakers. Let’s take a look at a few.
The terms ‘relate to’ and ‘relate with’ are both acceptable to use, just like ‘compare to’ and ‘compare with.’ However, most of the time, ‘relate to’ is the correct way to use the term.
There’s not much difference between ‘associated to’ and ‘associated with.’ It all depends on your preference, as the terms mean the same thing.
The terms ‘in the summer’ and ‘in summer’ mean essentially the same thing. However, ‘in summer’ is usually used at the beginning of a sentence or if it’s broken up. And ‘in the summer’ can be used in pretty much anyway. For example, “in summer attire,” and “in late summer 2023…” and “in the summer, we…” are all appropriate.
The Merriam-Webster definition of the word is: “to represent as similar: liken,” “to examine the character or qualities of especially in order to discover,” “to view in relation to,” and “to inflect or modify (an adjective or adverb) according to the degrees of comparison: state the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of.”
It’s also defined as: “to bear being compared,” “to make comparisons,” “to be equal or alike,” “the possibility of comparing,” and “something with which to be compared.”
Some synonyms of the word include:
Since the phrases ‘compare to’ and ‘compare with’ contain the words ‘to’ and ‘with,’ they’re technically considered prepositional phrases.
So, what’s a prepositional phrase? It’s a phrase that can be used to indicate a direction, a place of arrival, or a goal, among other things.
Some examples of prepositional phrases include:
Now that you know a little bit more about the phrases, let’s see how to use both in a sentence correctly.
Take a look at some examples of how to use ‘compare to’ in a sentence:
Now, let’s take a look at some examples of how to use ‘compare with’ in a sentence:
As we discussed above, ‘compare to’ is best used when comparing similar things, while ‘compare with’ is used to compare things that are opposite.
It’s not the easiest thing to remember and there’s no easy trick for remembering which one is which. But you can always pop on back over and take a browse through our library of articles dedicated to explaining confusing words.
We can also teach you how to write better. So, don’t be a stranger. Come back whenever you need to.