A person compares the qualities of two things or two groups of things. Comparing almost always involves the number two; however, sometimes you will hear the word "compare" used when discussing the qualities of more than two things.

  • Tom compared two schools and chose the one that was closer to his house.
  • Compared to other cities in the United States, New York is actually very safe and livable.
  • Rhonda always compares prices among the stores she visits to buy groceries.
  • Those two places don’t even compare. (One is clearly much better than the other.)
  • Compared to gold jewelry, silver jewelry is much cheaper.
  • Compared to a cat, a dog is much friendlier and easier to train.

Sometimes when using the word "compare," a person suggests that there are some similarities.

  • Lisa compares her father to a dictator. She says they both enforce strict rules.
  • Henry was compared unfavorably to a dog.
  • Someone in our class compared the teacher to a large rock.
  • Valerie is so beautiful. She is often compared to Jennifer Lopez.

The word "comparison" is a noun.

  • That’s a very good comparison.
  • The comparison made between the two novels was very helpful for the students.
  • Comparison shopping is essential if you are a careful shopper. (comparison shopping = visiting more than one store to compare prices and quality)

The word "comparative" is an adjective:

  • The word "better" is a comparative adjective and a comparative adverb for the word "good."
  • Some countries in Europe have a comparative advantage over other European countries because they have stronger productivity.

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April 24, 2019