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Overpopulation is a real concern all across the globe, but the situation in poor countries is not comparable to the situation in rich countries.

I have written the above sentence but to avoid repetition I have altered it as follows:

Overpopulation is a real concern all across the globe, but the situation in poor countries is not comparable to that of rich countries.

Is it correct use of "that of"? Can we always use "that of" in all cases? I mean, I usually see "that of" is used for the possessions but I used it for "the situation" which is not possessed by a country!

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  • Your use of that of is generally correct, but there's something awkward about your phrasing: you say "the situation in poor countries, but "(the situation) of rich countries." It should really be parallel: the situation of poor countries vs. that of rich countries.
    – stangdon
    Jul 13 at 18:20
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    I don't think parallel construction actually helps in this case. I didn't see anything awkward in the OP's sentence, but "the situation of poor countries" definitely falls strangely on my ear. Jul 13 at 18:22
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    You could always say to that in rich countries to keep the symmetry.
    – fev
    Jul 13 at 18:55
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Almost. Like the other commenters said, the correct way to write it would be:

"...is not comparable to that in rich countries".

You're replacing "the situation" with "that".

A good way to see if it's correct is to try to reverse it:

"...is not comparable to that of rich countries"

"...is not comparable to the situation of rich countries"

Then you see that it does not align with the previous part of the sentence ("but the situation in poor countries...".

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