Comparing Comparable Things

79

comparing comparable things

A common grammar error that occurs when making comparisons is to inadvertently compare dissimilar things. When making a comparison, you should try to compare only those items that are logically comparable. In other words, compare things that make sense to compare.

Unbalanced: Mrs. William’s tests are easier than Mr. Olsen.

Balanced: Mrs. William’s tests are easier than Mr. Olsen’s.

Or: Mrs. William’s tests are easier than those of Mr. Olsen.

The latter two sentences compare the tests of Mrs. Williams to the tests of Mr. Olsen, which is clearly what the writer intended. But the first, unbalanced sentence actually compares Mrs. William’s tests to Mr. Olsen himself. That’s weird, right?

Unbalanced:  This coffee is better than the shop on main street.

Balanced: This coffee is better than the coffee in the shop on Main Street.

Or: The coffee here is better than at the shop on Main Street.

Or: This coffee is better than that nasty stuff they serve over on Main Street.

Clearly, there are many options for doing this right. Just be sure you are comparing coffee to coffee and not coffee to a shop that serves coffee.

Sometimes what you need is a preposition to clarify what is being compared.

Unbalanced: Under capitalism, life is generally better than communism.

Balanced: Under capitalism, life is generally better than under communism.

Or:  Under capitalism, life is generally better than it is under communism.

If you don’t see the difference between the first two, the last sentence should make it clear. Without “under” or “it is under,” the sentence is comparing “life under capitalism” to “communism” rather than “life under capitalism” to “life under  communism.” See the difference? It’s subtle, but it matters.

I like Adele’s music better than Katie Perry.

What do you make of  a sentence like that? It can can actually mean either of two things, and neither of them are what the writer likely intends. Either this means that the writer likes Adele’s music more than Katie Perry does (“I like Adele’s music more than Katie Perry likes Adele’s music.”) or that the writer likes the music of Adele better than the person known as Katie Perry (“If I had to choose between listening to an Adele song or playing Bingo with Katie Perry, I’d go with the Adele song.”) What this sentence does not grammatically mean is what the writer probably meant to say:

I like Adele’s music better than Katie Perry’s music.

or:    I like Adele’s music better than Katie Perry’s.

WriteAtHome students write better. Visit today!
*****

I need comments! Gimme, gimme, gimme!

About the Author

Brian Wasko

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. bactefort
    bactefort03-24-2017

    I think other web site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and magnificent user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  2. mobil tillbehor
    mobil tillbehor03-24-2017

    Thanks again for the article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  3. for details
    for details03-23-2017

    This is a topic that is near to my heart Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?

  4. click here
    click here03-23-2017

    I really liked your blog article. Want more.

  5. for more info
    for more info03-22-2017

    Looking forward to reading more. Great article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  6. wyoming finance insurance premium
    wyoming finance insurance premium03-22-2017

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the website is extremely good.

  7. texas commercial trucking insurance
    texas commercial trucking insurance03-22-2017

    Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I ave been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

  8. this website
    this website03-22-2017

    Simply a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great design and style.

  9. arvada plumber
    arvada plumber03-22-2017

    to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so!

  10. Discover More Here
    Discover More Here03-21-2017

    Thanks so much for the blog post.

  11. hockey stars long line hack
    hockey stars long line hack03-21-2017

    Great, thanks for sharing this blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  12. gta 5 cheat ps4
    gta 5 cheat ps403-20-2017

    Major thanks for the blog article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  13. forge of empire resource generator
    forge of empire resource generator03-20-2017

    I appreciate you sharing this blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  14. address
    address03-20-2017

    Major thankies for the blog post. Really Great.

  15. machu picchu tours
    machu picchu tours03-20-2017

    The Silent Shard This could in all probability be quite practical for many within your work I plan to will not only with my website but

  16. divinelipstick.com
    divinelipstick.com03-20-2017

    Keep up the good work , I read few blog posts on this web site and I believe that your web blog is real interesting and holds circles of fantastic info.

  17. World News
    World News03-20-2017

    wonderful issues altogether, you just won a new reader. What could you suggest about your publish that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  18. P3O
    P3O03-19-2017

    widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.

  19. generic viagra
    generic viagra03-17-2017

    There is perceptibly a lot to know about this. I think you made various nice points in features also.

  20. canadian stock market news today
    canadian stock market news today03-16-2017

    There as certainly a lot to learn about this subject. I love all the points you ave made.

  21. พี่เลี้ยงเด็ก
    พี่เลี้ยงเด็ก03-16-2017

    You need to participate in a contest for the most effective blogs on the web. I will advocate this website!

  22. พี่เลี้ยงเด็ก
    พี่เลี้ยงเด็ก03-16-2017

    Thank you for this great piece of content. Best Regards

  23. back brace for men
    back brace for men03-16-2017

    A big thank you for your article. Much obliged.

  24. aesthetic gym apparel
    aesthetic gym apparel03-16-2017

    Wow, great article post.Really thank you! Awesome.

  25. money earning
    money earning03-16-2017

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about sex.

  26. Earn money
    Earn money03-16-2017

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

  27. cover Models
    cover Models03-16-2017

    Thank you very much! I took it for myself too. Will be useful!!

  28. play online casino
    play online casino03-16-2017

    This is a wonderful site, might you be engaged in undertaking an interview regarding how you designed that? If therefore e-mail me!

  29. modern
    modern03-16-2017

    wow, awesome blog post.Much thanks again. Cool.

  30. Car Insurance Huntsville
    Car Insurance Huntsville03-16-2017

    Fantastic article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  31. to learn more
    to learn more03-15-2017

    Thanks-a-mundo for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more.

  32. followgeorgekaramal
    followgeorgekaramal03-15-2017

    Im thankful for the article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  33. visit website
    visit website03-15-2017

    Thanks again for the article.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

  34. moda infantil
    moda infantil03-14-2017

    Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this website needs a lot more attention. I all probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

  35. Find weed app
    Find weed app03-14-2017

    we like to honor lots of other net web sites around the web, even if they aren

  36. Review Wizard Review
    Review Wizard Review03-14-2017

    Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  37. Orange County Hard Money Lenders
    Orange County Hard Money Lenders03-13-2017

    This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  38. http://www.electrichainsaw.com
    http://www.electrichainsaw.com03-13-2017

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  39. trade in services
    trade in services03-13-2017

    Say, you got a nice blog.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on

  40. Click here
    Click here03-13-2017

    Thanks a lot for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  41. sverige
    sverige03-13-2017

    Wow, great article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  42. Turkey Yacht Charter
    Turkey Yacht Charter03-12-2017

    I value the article post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  43. DNA test
    DNA test03-12-2017

    Im thankful for the article post. Awesome.

  44. travel
    travel03-12-2017

    Appreciate you sharing, great article post. Keep writing.

  45. free websites
    free websites03-11-2017

    Tapes and Containers are scanned and tracked by CRIM as data management software.

  46. youtube downloader no install
    youtube downloader no install03-10-2017

    interesting page I noticed a website today and found a really worthwhile point of view

  47. tu van thanh lap doanh nghiep
    tu van thanh lap doanh nghiep03-10-2017

    It as really a nice and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  48. Fidget Spinner
    Fidget Spinner03-10-2017

    Very informative blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic.

  49. salt lake data recovery
    salt lake data recovery03-10-2017

    Your style is really unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I all just book mark this site.

  50. Watching the Super Bowl
    Watching the Super Bowl03-10-2017

    Very good day i am undertaking research at this time and your website actually aided me

  51. twitter follower
    twitter follower03-10-2017

    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However,

  52. Katamarayudu Songs
    Katamarayudu Songs03-10-2017

    Awesome blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  53. Jasa Like Instagram
    Jasa Like Instagram03-10-2017

    wow, awesome blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

  54. dont wait and check now
    dont wait and check now03-10-2017

    I value the blog.Thanks Again.

  55. dildo review
    dildo review03-10-2017

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

  56. Foot Doctor Troy MI
    Foot Doctor Troy MI03-08-2017

    Some genuinely prize content on this web site , saved to my bookmarks.

  57. 3 auto insurance companies
    3 auto insurance companies03-08-2017

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually realize what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my website =). We may have a hyperlink change agreement among us!

  58. buying a house
    buying a house03-08-2017

    The information and facts talked about within the post are some of the top out there

  59. Android News
    Android News03-08-2017

    Thank you ever so for you article.Thanks Again. Cool.

  60. phuket cheap holiday rentals
    phuket cheap holiday rentals03-07-2017

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about sex.

  61. razor,straight razor
    razor,straight razor03-07-2017

    Really clear web site, regards for this post.

  62. relationship
    relationship03-07-2017

    I went over this site and I conceive you have a lot of wonderful info, saved to fav (:.

  63. pet dog food
    pet dog food03-07-2017

    What i do not realize is in fact how you are now not actually much more well-favored than you may be right now.

  64. gmail.com signin
    gmail.com signin03-07-2017

    web site, since I experienced to reload the

  65. FIFA World Cup 2018 Schedule
    FIFA World Cup 2018 Schedule03-07-2017

    Very informative article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  66. Vedic Astrology Predictions
    Vedic Astrology Predictions03-07-2017

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Really thank you! Want more.

  67. tashjusttash
    tashjusttash03-07-2017

    I value the blog article.Really thank you! Will read on…

  68. zillow.com ct
    zillow.com ct03-07-2017

    There as definately a great deal to know about this subject. I love all of the points you have made.

  69. graphics
    graphics03-07-2017

    A round of applause for your post.Really thank you! Cool.

  70. tsx right now
    tsx right now03-07-2017

    Quite Right I definitely liked the article which I ran into.

  71. tsx acura 2004
    tsx acura 200403-07-2017

    Valuable information and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up!

  72. environment
    environment03-06-2017

    Wow, incredible weblog structure! How long have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content material!

  73. Iphone_6S
    Iphone_6S03-06-2017

    You ave made some good points there. I looked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

  74. Sarina
    Sarina03-06-2017

    Really informative blog article.Much thanks again. Cool.

  75. hurrikane
    hurrikane03-06-2017

    I appreciate you sharing this article post.Really thank you! Really Great.

  76. mike tyson
    mike tyson03-06-2017

    kGn1i2 This is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate info Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

Leave a Reply

If you like a post, please take a second to click "like," and comment as often as you like.
We promise not to correct your grammar!