Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Nov 23 2009   2:16PM GMT

“Compared with” vs. “compared to” — is there a difference?



Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Tags:
Business writing
CIO
compared to vs. compared with
grammar
Quiz
word choice

Which is correct?
When compared ____ the high-performance computers of twenty years ago, current PCs seem like supercomputers.
a. with
b. to


Answer: Either

Explanation:
Compare with and compare to are often used interchangeably and that use is not really wrong. If you’re comparing two things that are obviously similar, either to or with works fine.

However, a distinction can be made. Compare to is often used to stress similarities, especially between things that are, at first glance, dissimilar. For example, the computer is often compared to a human brain because of the way both process information. In this use, compare is synonymous with liken.

On the other hand, if you want to contrast two things, compare with is more useful. For example, when I compare my computer with my brain, I find my brain often slower to boot up (especially when it’s low on caffeine).

The Total Gadha GMAT blog provides a tip and quiz on compared to vs. compared with.

Follow us on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

 Comment on this Post

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: