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I want to compare two independent clauses with the phrase "is similar to". I want to compare Dave's rebellious act of escaping from authority to the rebellious act of citizens who stand up againt government.

I would like to know if the following usage is correct:

In that sense, Dave’s rebellious act of escaping from authority control is similar to that of oppressed citizens defend themselves against government tyranny.

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With X is similar to Y, X and Y are both nouns or noun phrases, not independent clauses.

Independent clauses have their own subject and verb. Words ending in "-ing" aren't verbs unless have or be is before them - they are nouns or modifiers in that case.

You might think "Dave's" is the subject in the phrase "Dave's rebellious act of escaping from authority control" but it's a modifier expressing possessive case, not a subject - it qualifies who/what "act of escaping" belongs to. The entire phrase "Dave's rebellious act of escaping from authority control" is the subject of is.

The second phrase "that of oppressed citizens defend themselves against government tyranny" is the "target" of is (technically called a "subject complement" I believe). So you haven't started a new clause yet, you're still completing your first sentence. Another clue: the word of - the "object" of of has to be a noun.

So you must change defend to defending.

There's a couple common conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor, so, and yet) and marker words (however, also, consequently, furthermore, however, moreover, nevertheless, and therefore) that indicate you are probably working with at least independent clauses. See this page.

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"Similar" means "like someone/something but not exactly the same". If I'm not mistaken, you are trying to compare one particular way of behavior (there's no information about what Dave did in particular to escape -no preposition needed- the authority control) to the whole range of actions citizens may take to defend themselves against government tyranny. If so, the sentence doesn't read quite clearly. I dare to suggest to compare Dave's rebellious act to the way/to how oppressed citizens may often act defending themselves against government tyranny. So, without changing the writing style, the sentence may read,"In that sense, Dave's rebellious act of escaping authority control is similar to the way oppressed citizens may often act defending themselves against government tyranny."

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