1

I got stuck by the following sentence, which can be found here:

If we generate the column proportions, we can see that a higher fraction of plain text emails are spam(209/1195 = 17.5%) than compared to HTML emails (158/2726 = 5.8%).

I wonder if the complete sentence should be this:

If we generate the column proportions, we can see that text emails contain a higher fraction of spam(209/1195 = 17.5%) when (they are) compared to HTML emails (158/2726 = 5.8%)

The structure is obvious and the grammar is simple.

I don't understand why it should be expressed as "than compared to" since I thought this sentence would be correct and more comprehensible:

If we generate the column proportions, we can see that a higher fraction of plain text emails are spam(209/1195 = 17.5%) than that of HTML emails (158/2726 = 5.8%)

5
  • Does this answer your question? "compared to" vs "than" - rewriting exchangeable May 21, 2020 at 13:16
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica This differs due to the subject matter. May 21, 2020 at 13:30
  • I think this differs because it looks more like proofreading than the "original". May 21, 2020 at 13:52
  • Throw out the syntactically irrelevant parenthetical elements in your final example, and replace a higher fraction of with syntactically equivalent more. You're left with More X emails are spam than that of Y emails, which is obviously syntactically invalid. May 21, 2020 at 13:58
  • The pronoun "that" in "than that of HTML" refers to "the fraction of HTML", so you cannot replace "a higher fraction of" with "more" and draw any conclusions. "A higher fraction of text emails are spam than the fraction of HTML emails" is syntactically valid
    – gotube
    Oct 7, 2021 at 1:18

1 Answer 1

1

"Than compared to" is an error. When drawing comparisons you would normally use either "than" or "compared to", and they are not necessarily interchangable.

For example:

  • America has a larger population than Great Britain.
  • America has a large population compared to Great Britain.

Use "than" when you are using a comparitive adjective like larger or a determiner such as more, less or fewer.

Use "compared to" when you are using a regular adjective like large and are just citing a second example for comparison.

Your example is a grammatical error. Clearly a comparison study has been made between the two kinds of email, but when presenting factual results (especially with specific numbers) you can plainly state that one number is greater than, or more than the other. That they are being compared goes without saying.

Note that in British English, we prefer "compared with", however the American "compared to" is commonly heard too.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .