Which Is Correct, Compared To Or Compared With? Answered (2023)

Which Is Correct, Compared To Or Compared With?: The verb ‘Compare’ is used to examine two or more things, usually an object, idea, or people in order to note, measure, or estimate the similarities and differences between them. This verb is often accompanied with the object ‘ing’ or ‘ed’ thereby producing the participles Comparing or Compared which are used in expressing the similarity or differences which exists between two or more things in a sentence. Notably, the participle Comparing is the present participle of the verb ‘compare’, while Compared is the past participle which is used while speaking or writing in past tense.

Which Is Correct, Compared To Or Compared With? Answered (1)

Should I write ‘compared to’ or ‘compared with’?

The participle compared is always accompanied either ‘to’ or ‘with’ which are the prepositions used to perfectly express this verb. However, many people do not express this verb correctly in a sentence as they usually misplace the use of ‘Compared to’ and ‘Compared with’ and use it interchangeably in a sentence.

While making this mistake is not acceptable in the English parlance, it is quite understandable because the phrase sounds alike and people who make this mistake do not really understand the meaning of the phrase ‘Compared to’ and ‘Compared with’ to be differentiate when to use them.

For this purpose, in this Article i shall examine the meaning of the phrase ‘Compared to’ and ‘Compared with’ and how to correctly use either of them in a sentence.

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Meaning and Uses of The Phrase

It is instructive to note that while both ‘Compared to’ and ‘Compared with’ are used to illustrate a comparison between two or more objects, ideas, or people, they have slightly different meanings and context of use.

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Difference Between Compare To And Compare With.

To properly understand its context of use in a sentence, we shall consider the meaning of each phrase and the instances where they may be appropriately used.

Compared to:

The phrase ‘Compared to’ means to compare something to something. In doing so, it examines the similarity between two things. For example: We compared the 2022 election to the 2011 election. In this example, we are comparing two elections to point out the similarities between these two elections.

Which Is Correct, Compared To Or Compared With? Answered (3)

Which Is Correct, Compared To Or Compared With?

The phrase ‘Compared to’ equally points out the similarities between objects of different orders. For example: Compared to the Dog, the Cat is smart. This illustrates a comparison of objects of different orders.

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‘Compared to’ can be used in the following instances –

1. When comparing similarities: In an instance where you are comparing the similarity between two things, it is best to use ‘Compared to’. For example: My result was bad compared to my previous, He compared their win to that of the 2017 Madrid team.

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From these examples, we can see that I comparing the similarity between my previous and present result, and also in the latter example comparing how this year’s win is similar to the 2017 UCL win of Real Madrid.

Which Is Correct, Compared To Or Compared With? Answered (4)

“Compared with” vs “Compared to”—which is used when?

2. When expressing an opinion: When you are expressing your opinion on a subject or about a thing or likewise you’re stating an observation, it is apposite you make use of ‘Compared to’. For example: Harry Kane is not good compared to Cristiano Ronaldo.

From this example, you can see that from my observation from watching football for years, I am giving my opinion that Kane is a good player, but when compared to Ronaldo; he is not good. It is wrong for me to say ‘Compared with Ronaldo, Kane is not good’ or ‘Kane is not good compared with Ronaldo’. So in any instance you are giving an opinion about two things or humans, remember that you should use ‘Compared to’.

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3. When likening two things: When you are likening two things, you should make use of ‘Compared to’. For example: She looks tall compared to him. I loved Anayo, but I know now that love was nothing compared to what I feel now.

Which Is Correct, Compared To Or Compared With? Answered (5)

How does it compare “with” or “to”?

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As you can see from these examples, we are pointing out the resemblance between their heights; hence in comparison to the height of the guy she looks tall. Likewise, in the later example, she is comparing her feelings then and now. Thus, flowing from these examples, any time you want to make an analogy or you are likening two things, comparing two similar things, or pointing out the resemblance between two things, you should make use of ‘Compared to’.

4. When you intend to assert: In an instance wherein you intend to assert that two or more things are similar, without any need for elaboration, you are to use ‘Compared to’. For example: She compared her dress to that of Micheal Jackson. He compared his work to that of Chinua Achebe. In the first instance, the lady is comparing her dress with that of Micheal Jackson on the basis that they’re similar to each other. In the second instance, the guy is asserting that his work is similar to that of Chinua Achebe.

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Compared with:

The Phrase ‘Compared with’ means to compare something to something in order to examine the differences between them. For example: Let’s compare President Buhari with Goodluck Jonathan. In this instance, we are comparing the difference which exists in the administration of Buhari with the administration of Goodluck.

Formally, ‘Compared with’ is used to compare two similar things, and to highlight the differences between them. For example: Compared with his uncle, Samuel is taller. This example shows the comparison of two similar things (Human beings), and highlighting the difference in height between them (that Samuel is taller than his uncle).

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‘Compared with’ can be used in the following instances –

1. When juxtaposing two things: Instructively, when you are juxtaposing two things by placing them side by side to compare the similarities and differences which exists between them, you are to use ‘Compared with’.

For example: Nigerians are not punctual compared with the Europeans. Your achievement cannot be compared with mine. In the first instance, we are comparing the differences in the pattern of Nigerians to attending events with that of the Europeans. In the second instance, we are juxtaposing the achievements of one person with that of another person.

2. When weighing things: When weighing a thing against another thing, it is best you make use of ‘Compared with’. For example: We compared the people in the society with the resources available. In this instance, we are weighing the number of available resources against the number of available people in the society to enjoy these resources.

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3. When comparing similar things: When you are comparing two similar things, it is more appropriate to use ‘Compared with’ as illustrated by the example in the definition section.

Having understood the meaning of both ‘Compared to’ and ‘Compared with’ lets now answer the question on which is correct between them?

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Which of The Phrase Is Correct?

It is instructive to note that both ‘Compared to’ and ‘Compared with’ are grammatically correct, however it only depends on its context of use. Its context of use slightly differs are elucidated above, so to determine which is correct between them, you need to determine which properly fits in the context which you want to use it for.

To properly determine which fits into the context which you want to use it for, you need to understand the differences between the two phrases and its appropriate instances of use. Understanding these will effectively enable you to know when to use the phrase that fits each sentence.

Which Is Correct, Compared To Or Compared With? Answered (6)

Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC

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Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.


Which is correct compared with or compared to? ›

Both are correct, but there is a small difference in meaning. "Compare to" expresses similarity between two things. For example: I hesitate to compare my own works to those of someone like Dickens. "Compare with" suggests that the differences between two things at least as important as the similarities.

Which preposition is used with compared? ›

In English, “compare” or “compared” is often accompanied by the preposition “to” or “with.” Both are grammatically correct, so how do we know which one to use? Hint: The answer has to do with whether the emphasis is on the similarities or the differences between the items being compared. Test your knowledge.

What is the difference between with and to? ›

'to' is directed towards only one person, whereas, 'with' includes both people. Example: John was talking to Smith. John was speaking with Smith. In the first sentence, only John is speaking.

How do you use comparing with in a sentences? ›

1 My shoes are small in comparison with my sister's. 2 The tallest buildings in London are small in comparison with those in New York. 3 The tallest buildings in London are small in comparison with New York's skyscrapers. 4 In absolute terms, wages have risen, but not in comparison with the cost of living.

What can I use instead of compared to? ›

Synonyms of compared to
  • contrasted (with)
  • in comparison (with)
  • in contrast (with)
  • contrasted (to)
  • contrary to.
  • as opposed to.
  • in comparison (to)
  • in contrast (to)

What is another word for compared to? ›

The words collate and contrast are common synonyms of compare. While all three words mean "to set side by side in order to show differences and likenesses," compare implies an aim of showing relative values or excellences by bringing out characteristic qualities whether similar or divergent.

Is it correct to say as compared with? ›

As both objects of comparison are the same type of thing, "compared with" is the right phrase to use.

What is the meaning of compared to? ›

: in relation to (something else) : measured or judged against (something else) I'm a slob compared to my roommate. This rain is nothing compared to what we got yesterday. Today's quiz was easy compared with the last one.

Can you start a sentence with compared to? ›

Yes, you can begin with this clause. However, there is another very important element missing.

Which is correct married to or married with? ›

We use to, not with, after get married + direct object and be married + direct object: She got married to someone she met at college.

Is it speaking with or speaking to? ›

To speak to someone is usually a one-way thing, perhaps you are giving instructions to a colleague. To speak with someone is more or a conversation or discussion (2-way).

Do it with or to? ›

In the first case, whatever you are doing is directly impacting the person/object you are doing it to, whereas in the second case you are just doing whatever you are doing in collaboration with (or in proximity to) the person/object.

Do you use a comma when comparing two things with than? ›

Never use a comma before the word 'than' if you are comparing something. Wrong: This cat weighs more, than that cat. Right: This cat weighs more than that cat.

What is the rule of comparing? ›

A comparison rule is an optional component of a reconciliation task. It defines how to compare objects or attributes of a child or parent object in one data set with a child or parent object in another data set when the system executes a reconciliation task.

What is an example of a compare and contrast sentence? ›

Comparison Contrast

Kim likes heavy metal. But Tom prefers classical music. Subordinators join dependent clauses to sentences.

How do you compare two things in an essay? ›

If two topics relate to each other or define each other, you can better explain them both by showcasing their similarities and differences. That goes double for topics that are often conflated or confused for each other; it helps readers when someone points out exactly what's the same about them and what's different.

What part of speech is compared to? ›

verb (used with object), com·pared, com·par·ing. to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences: to compare two pieces of cloth; to compare the governments of two nations.

Is it correct to say as compared to? ›

"As compared to" and "as compared with" are grammatically incorrect. Correct usage for comparisons of two things is either "compared to" or "compared with," according to the Merriam-Webster English dictionary.

What is the example of compared to and compared with? ›

Example 1 - Compared with his father, Jack is taller. In this sentence, two human beings are being compared. As both objects of comparison are the same type of thing, "compared with" is the right phrase to use. Example 2 - Compared to the pillar, Jack is shorter.

Is it compared to or with Merriam? ›

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, people tend to follow the stickler rule in the active voice. That is, they use “compare to” to show how one thing is like another and they use “compare with” to explore ways in which they might differ.

Do you need a comma before compared to? ›

Use commas within a comparison. Place it before “compared to,” “like how,” “just as,” and similar link phrases require this punctuation mark before them. Don't use it before “than” in comparisons. Incorrect: It was an easy task compared to our previous essay.

How do you start a paragraph when comparing two things? ›

Begin with a topic sentence that explains one area of comparison between your first subject and your second subject. For example, if your subjects are two different countries and your paragraph topic is political structure, you can start by broadly describing each country's political processes.


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