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I wonder which form(s) are correct amongst the following:

  • It operates similar to the above-mentioned mechanism.
  • It operates similarly to the above-mentioned mechanism.

Looking at Google, "operates similar to" and "operates similarly to" have a similar number of results:

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    An actual Google Ngram Viewer query shows that it operates similarly is the only version common enough to appear on the graph at all. I don't find this surprising. Everything being equal, and exceptions aside, -ly adverbs will always be more common than their flat counterparts. May 31, 2020 at 2:42
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    The actual adjectival form of the sentence (or adverbial phrase that uses the adjectival form) would be it operates in a similar fashion to … May 31, 2020 at 2:46
  • @JasonBassford Thanks very much, sounds like a great answer :-) could you please convert your comment into an answer? This way I can accept it. Thanks! May 31, 2020 at 2:49

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I believe the second example is the correct one:

It operates similarly to the above-mentioned mechanism.

The first example should probably be:

It operates in a similar way/manner/fashion as the above-mentioned mechanism.

That said, you could probably get away with the first example in a conversation in spoken English. I doubt anyone would think twice about it.

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