1

I was wondering which choice works correctly in the following sentence:

  • You're a great driver Steve; I'm nothing ____________ you when it comes to driving.

a. in comparison with
b. compared to
c. compared with

The only option that sounds awkward to me is "c", but I think both "a" and "b" are okey and can be interchanged here.

I have read the similar thread.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – ColleenV Sep 24 '19 at 13:40
1

A-friend, to answer your original question, to me, the best choice is option (b). But the other two are not incorrect.

You're a great driver Steve; I'm nothing compared to you when it comes to driving.

I believe most people prefer using the simplest of phrases while speaking. To me, the simplest is option (b). Options (a) and (c) can surely be preferred if the sentence was worded a bit differently. But in the original sentence, using (a) or (c) makes it sound a bit unnatural and clunky, at least to my ears. Its a matter of stylistic choice, I guess.

The first Google Ngram plot below shows that both "with" and "to" versions (in that exact phrase) were equally used until early 1980s, after which, the use of "nothing compared to you" has been highly preferred. This is also the case for "compared to you" and "compared with you": since early 1970s, "compared to you" has been more widely used. It is the same for "compared to" and "compared with". The Ngram should however not be used to determine which is correct or best, that again, depends on the context.

In the following example, both "comparison to" and "comparison with" work equally well.

Steve's driving skills have skyrocketed in comparison with other students in the academy.

You could also use "by" in other instances.

Steve's driving skills are unrivaled, mine are cringeworthy by comparison.

Here are some great uses of "in comparison with":

Prince Edward Island is about to feel the effects from tropical storm Jerry but it will pale in comparison with Dorian's impact. - The Journal Pioneer

The administration has already severely reduced America's refugee program, especially in comparison with the Obama years. - Los Angeles Times

Paling in comparison with Walmart impact-wise, Amazon announced some big environmental policy shifts on the eve of 1,500 Amazon workers strike plans. - Forbes

We say

My house is much smaller in comparison to yours.

Compared to your house, mine looks much smaller.

My house is smaller compared to/with yours.

Comparing your house with mine, is like comparing {insert relative size analogy here}.

enter image description here enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you @AIQ; just could you let me know regarding "to" and "with" specifically, which one is more natural to you based on your statements here in: "She is such a great singer that some people compare her to / with Witney Houston." – A-friend Sep 23 '19 at 20:52
  • 1
    She is a great singer; some people even compare her to Witney Houston. Again, both are equally valid. I am just used to using "to". – AIQ Sep 23 '19 at 20:59
  • Can someone enlighten me what happened around 1980s (the trend between "compared with" and "compared to" reversed)? – AIQ Sep 23 '19 at 21:01
  • And @AIQ as my last question, I guess in "My mother is always comparing me to my friends; she knows I really hate that," the preposition "to" is much more natural to you, whereas "with" can work as well. Right? – A-friend Sep 24 '19 at 4:07
  • 1
    That's right. Both are equivalent, and both are equally used. It comes down to a person's style or habit. – AIQ Sep 24 '19 at 4:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.