Basic rules and a quiz
Full verb - compare withWe use compare with when we examine two things to see what their similarities or differences are:
- The police compared the signature on the stolen credit card with that of the original owner.
- So, let's compare Sinead O'Connor's version with Prince's. How do they stack up?
- Her last album doesn't compare with her previous one. (It's not as good as)
- When we compare our new house with our old one, this one has much more space. (It's bigger)
Full verb - compare to
- The critics compared his work to that of Martin Amis.
- Scientists sometimes compare the human brain to a computer.
(American Heritage Dictionary)
- Shall I say you are like a Summer's day?
- There is nothing (else) like you.
In gerund and present participle clauses
- Why do critics insist on comparing one artist with another?
= making a comparison between one artist and another
- Wild claims comparing YouTube to TV misunderstand what TV is and the reasons why people watch it
= saying YouTube is like TV
In past participle clauses - usually interchangeable
- This road is quite busy compared with/to yours
(Cambridge Online Dictionary)
- Standards in health care have improved enormously compared with/to 40 years ago
(Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
- Compared with/to our old house, this one has more space.
Quiz - In each group of three sentences, one definitely takes 'to', one definitely takes 'with', and the third can take either (in my judgement). Use the selectors to choose which takes what.
|1a.||Your garden is so beautiful compared mine.|
|1b.||There are far more flowers in it, and it's much better designed, when you compare it mine.|
|1c.||I hear the local newspaper has compared it the famous garden at Sissinghurst.|
|2a.||Some people have compared the 2008 crisis the Great Depression of the thirties.|
|2b.||But if we compare now then, unemployment and inflation have been much lower.|
|2c.||And the world economic system is very different, compared then.|
|3a.||The snow has come early this year, compared last year.|
|3b.||The newspapers are already comparing it that really cold winter of 2005.|
|3c.||But we don't have enough statistics to compare it 2005 yet. It's only November.|
|4a.||Jenny is very successful, compared her brother.|
|4b.||Yes. Compared him, she has a lot more money and a much better job.|
|4c.||Mum compares her her aunt Susan, you know, the one who started her own business and became a millionaire.|