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I am not sure whether "is" and "is of" are the same thing. After some internet search, I still could not figure out their discrepancy.

To further the discussion, here are two examples:

  • i) Contemporary art is lower in quality than earlier art.
  • ii) Contemporary art is of lower quality than earlier art.

Could anyone please explain their difference in terms of implication and tone?

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  • You can include either or neither (but not both) of the prepositions in and of in your cited context. They're all syntactically fine, and it makes no difference to the meaning which version you choose. Jan 15 at 17:16
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Clearly is and is of are not the same. We wouldn't say my cup is of full or that man is of tall.

The examples you give highlight a different issue; the distinction between low in quality and of low quality. These are two ways of expressing the same idea. Similarly, we can describe a person as being short in stature or of short stature. Both forms are equally correct and acceptable.

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