Although there were some similar questions asked here and here , I think this one is still different.

Is it true that sentences using "compared to" can be rewritten using "than" without changing their original meanings? Like these examples,

A This road is quite busy compared to/with ours. ->
B This road is much more busy than ours.

C Children seem to learn more interesting things compared to/with when we were at school. ->
D Children seem to learn more interesting things than what we were learning at school.

1 Answer 1


StoneyB's answer to the similar question linked to by your second here. Is all you need to read. However, I'll give you some other English usage information about the sentences in your question as well.

Answer: Yes, it's true.

A This sentence is fine but verbose. [Compared with and compared to are for all intents and purposes interchangeable here.]
B This road is much busier than ours. [This is idiomatic. It has one less word. Compared with is unnecessary because the content implies a comparison, so there's no need to say it. It's like Arnold Schwarzenegger saying something like Hi, my name is Arnold. I'm a man. You can tell from looking at him that he's a man.]
C The meaning of this sentence would be clear enough to most speakers, but it's not optimal. "Children seem to be learning more interesting things compared with when we were in school" seems better to me.
D This one isn't optimal either. "Children seem to be learning more interesting things than we did when we were in school" seems better to me.

The rule of thumb when making this kind of comparative statement is to use the shortest sentence possible to express the comparison. In most technical articles and articles in journals that publish academic prose, you'll see the longest possible sentences in addition to "as compared to/with" rather than than.

  • 1
    Right, what I need is a direct answer since I'm not very sure even I've read the answers before posting this one. Actually, sentences A & C are cited from Cambridge dictionary. See dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/compare_1
    – canoe
    May 9, 2013 at 9:14
  • @canoe: Even examples sentences from good dictionaries like that one can be less than optimal simply because the people who wrote them (usually some professional writer, but sometimes the lexicographers at the dictionary) are human (everybody has different standards about "good" style), and the point of the examples is to show the user how good and recognized writers use the language, not to teach writing style. Different brands of English also prefer different styles. All style suggestions are expressions of personal preferences, as are mine.
    – user264
    May 9, 2013 at 9:33

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