sumall_vegtables_woodcut_pattern_diet_ecommerceToday’s Master Class is a quickie because The Word Hen has a lot of eggs hatching at the moment.  Did you realise that there is a difference in meaning between compared to and compared with?

No? Don’t fret, because in fact most people don’t realise, but picky little freaks (such as me) know, and it hurts us when people get it wrong.

Very simply – you compare something to something else when you want to highlight the things they have in common.  My writing can be compared to Jane Austen’s because of our pithy and biting humour.  Look, it’s my blog and I’ll lie outrageously if I want to.

If you want to bring out the differences though, use compared with.  When writing, Joanna, compared with someone of real talent, is rambling and self indulgent.

That’s it. You’ll never get it wrong again.

  • Use compared to when you are drawing out the similarities.
  • Use compared with when it’s the differences that are important.


Joanna CopywriterJoanna is a freelance business copywriter, who has spent far too long nitpicking other people’s grammar today. Hire her to slap and tickle your writing into shape.  Or catch up on Twitter (@TheWordHen) or other social media (see the links in the side bar).