Sanya
What's the difference between 'compare to' and 'compare with'? Compare to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara almost seems rural. Statistics show a 20% reduction in burglary compared with last year. I find these two sentences in a dictionary and the definitions of compare to/with are the same. May I use compare with in the first sentence and compare to in the second sentence? Thank you!
Apr 19, 2011 10:18 AM
Answers · 2
Although we often use both 'compared to' and 'compared with' indiscriminantly (without thinking) there is actually a slight difference in meaning. 'Compare to' is used when the similarity between two or more things is the point of the comparison. The comparison here is often between things that are essentially different. Here compare means more 'liken' 'Compare with' is used to suggest that the differences are perhaps more important than the similarities. The comparison here is often between things that are essentially the same. Paris could be 'compared to' ancient Athens but 'compared with' modern London. So I would actually say 'compared with Los Angeles, Santa Barbara seems almost rural.'
April 19, 2011
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Sanya
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English