Need-to-know Grammar: Faulty Comparisons

May 12, 2006

A faulty comparison is one that is not logical. Items that are compared must in fact be similar.

I like Bruce Springsteen's songs more than Madonna.

This sentence is illogical. What is being compared? A person's songs should not be compared to a person. Songs should be compared to songs.

I like Bruce Springsteen's songs more than Madonna's songs.

This sentence is correct.

The following sentence is incorrect:

The weather in Canada is colder than Mexico.

Weather should not be compared to a country.

The weather in Canada is colder than the weather in Mexico.

When you see a word or phrase that indicates that there is a comparison in the sentence, ask yourself, "What is being compared?" Here are some such words and phrases:

  • like
  • as
  • less than
  • more than
  • compared to

Read some sentences with examples of faulty comparisons at Celebrity Grammar and Celebrity Usage.

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2 Responses to “Need-to-know Grammar: Faulty Comparisons”

  1. suellen Says:

    Is it okay to make copies of the lessons on this site? Didn’t know if they were copywritten. Plese let me know as soon as possible. Thank you!

  2. Sara Says:

    Good post. I’m writing a similar one myself.


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