# X is more similar to Y compared to Z

Consider this sentence:

X is more similar to Y compared to Z

Which of these does this sentence mean?

1. X is more similar to Y and less similar to Z
2. The similarity of X to Y is more than the similarity of Z to Y

If it means the first interpretation, how can I say the sentence to mean the second interpretation?

The sentence is badly constructed and likely to cause confusion.

To be clear, it needs to read either:

X is more similar to Y than (X is) to Z

or

X is more similar to Y than Y is to Z

• Indeed, what I need is something like "X is more similar to Y than Z is to Y". But doesn't any way of expressing it without repeating Y exist? – Shayan May 15 '18 at 10:26
• @Shayan The formula Y is more similar to X than to Z expresses a closer relation between X and Y than betwen Y and Z – Ronald Sole May 15 '18 at 13:55
• Thank you, but I want the opposite. Isn't a way? Assume that being similar in my context is not bidirectional and is unidirectional. – Shayan May 15 '18 at 14:10
• @Shayan I suspect that you want someone with greater mathematical or computational skills than I have. – Ronald Sole May 15 '18 at 14:23
• Can I use "X is, compared to Z, more similar to Y" to convey what I mean? Doesn't it have the ambiguity? – Shayan Jun 15 '18 at 11:32