Can you compare Malcolm Turnbull to apples?

22 March 2018

Did you know there's a difference between 'compare with' and 'compare to'? When comparing people or things, you can add a wealth of meaning depending on whether you write 'to', 'with' or 'and'.

Use ‘to’ with ‘compare’ (‘comparing’, ‘compared’) when you’re emphasising the similarities between two people or things. For example, you might write, ‘Compare Oprah Winfrey to  Ellen De Generes,’ or ‘She compared Fuji apples to Pink Lady apples.’ You are indicating some kind of likeness.

Use ‘with’ with ‘compare’ (‘comparing’, ‘compared’) when you’re emphasising the differences between two people or things. For example, you might write, ‘Compare Malcolm Turnbull with Gough Whitlam’ or ‘You’re comparing apples with oranges.’ Here you are implying difference.

Use ‘and’ with ‘compare’ when you’re emphasising neither the similarities nor the differences. For example, you could write, ‘The journalist compared the ALP and the Coalition.’ Here you are being neutral.

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