Loading....
Coupon Accepted Successfully!

 

Comparison

The following are some points of interest that are relevant in the context of degrees of comparison.

  1. Implied Comparison
    The G-matic sentence does not permit implied comparison, which is accepted in informal expression.

Study the following example.

? My new car gets better mileage.

The above sentence, which is common in informal speech, is not acceptable because the comparison is implied. It is actually meant to say my new car gets better mileage than my old car. However, it may also mean my new car gets better mileage than your new car or for that matter … than any other car. This kind of possibility of ambiguity makes this sentence incorrect in G-matic sentences.

* My new car gets better mileage than your car/ my old car.

Example
Although watercolor painting was popular among the aristocratic families of the 18th century England as a hobby only, it was more useful to surveyors, mapmakers and military officers in depicting the properties of terrain.
A. it was a more useful tool to surveyors, mapmakers and military officers in depicting
B. surveyors, mapmakers and military officers found it a more useful tool in depicting
C. the watercolor paintings are useful tools for surveyors, mapmakers and military officers to depict
D. surveyors, mapmakers and military officers finding it a useful tool in order to
E. it was a useful tool to surveyors, mapmakers and military officers in depicting
Solution
Explanation: the given sentence has implied comparison, which is not acceptable in formal English.
Option A: this option is with implied comparison which is not acceptable in formal English.
Option B: the switching of subject is not stylistically good as this shift does not effectively bring out the contrast. The watercolor painting being popular as a hobby only is to be contrasted with its being a useful tool in other areas. This depiction of contrast is lost because of the unnecessary change of the subject. moreover, the problem of implied comparison is not acceptable.
Option C: the plural subject (the watercolor paintings) is illogical here. As per the context, the logical subject of the main clause is the act of watercolor painting. This results in illogical predication.
Option D: the ‘incomplete’ verb (finding) makes the whole sentence a fragment, making the sentence incorrect.
Option E: correct. This option corrects all the above problems and thus, is the best one.
  1. Ambiguous Comparison
    Ambiguous comparison is the error in which the comparison leaves a chance for two interpretations. This is caused inadvertently usually because of the ellipsis of words.

Study the following example to understand this concept.

 ? My house is farther away from airport than your house.

Though the sentence looks correct, the sense is not precise. It may mean either of the following.

My house is farther away from the airport than (my house is from) your house.

My house is farther away from the airport than your house (is from the airport).

Here, the ambiguity is resulted from ellipsis of the words in italics. This problem of ambiguity can be corrected by adding one or more of the omitted words.

* My house is farther away from the airport than from your house.

* My house is farther away from the airport than is your house/ your house is.

Example
Maintaining the economic stability of a country is no more crucial in deciding its standards of living than perpetuating its cultural heritage.
A. perpetuating its cultural heritage.
B. does perpetuating its cultural heritage.
C. in perpetuating its cultural heritage.
D. is perpetuating its cultural heritage.
E. does the perpetuation of its cultural heritage.
Solution
Explanation: the sentence is with ambiguous comparison. it has two possible meaning; maintaining the economic stability is equally crucial in deciding its standards of living as well as in perpetuating its cultural heritage and both maintaining the economic stability and perpetuating its cultural are equally crucial in deciding the standards of living. This ambiguity makes this option incorrect.
Option A: this option is with the problem of ambiguous this option gives the logical sense which is given in the first instance of the explanation above.
Option B: the verb does functions as a substitute for a verb already mentioned. However, in the given sentence no grammatical referent is present for this. Thus, the option is incorrect.
Option C: correct. This option corrects the problem of ambiguous comparison.
Option D: this option results in illogical predication. because of this structure, the sentence comes to mean that perpetuating the cultural heritage is crucial in deciding the standards of living. This sense is illogical because it is the economic stability, but not cultural heritage, that decides the standards of living.
Option E: the verb does has no grammatical referent and thus this option is incorrect.
  1. Faulty Comparison by Comparing Things Which are not Comparable
    The faulty comparison is resulted from comparing things not comparable. This kind of error can be corrected by using by that of/those of with one of the compared elements.

Study the following examples.

*The physical nature of mantle, the rocky shell that constitutes 90% of earth’s volume, is different from the outer core.

In the above sentence, two things are compared: the physical nature of mantle and the outer core. However, the physical nature of one can be compared only to the physical nature of the other. Thus, the things compared are not comparable. This error can be corrected by using that of.

*The physical nature of mantle, the rocky shell that constitutes 90% of earth’s volume, is different from that of outer core.

Example
Unlike those of Central Europe, which were primarily weapons, the Chinese bronze-age artifacts were primarily utilitarian or ritualistic.
A. Chinese bronze-age artifacts were primarily
B. A bronze-age artifact of China primarily is
C. A Chinese bronze-age artifact is primarily
D. bronze-age artifacts of China were primarily
E. bronze-age of china was with artifacts that were primarily
Solution
The antecedent needed for the pronoun those is artifacts, because the artifacts of central Europe are to be compared with artifacts of China. However, the subject, which acts as the antecedent, is Chinese artifacts. Thus, the sentence gives illogical sense that unlike the Chinese artifacts of Central Europe, the Chinese artifacts….
Option A: this option is pronoun reference problem.
Option B: for the plural antecedent those, a plural antecedent is needed. but the use of singular noun a bronze-age artifact results in pronoun – antecedent disagreement. Moreover, the adverbial primarily should be placed before utilitarian. This results in misplaced modifier. Finally, there is an unnecessary shift in the tense.
Option C: this option has both pronoun reference and tense problems.
Option D: correct. this option corrects all these problems and uses correct tense.
Option E: this is faulty comparison as the artifacts of one culture cannot be compared to bronze-age of China.

 

  1. Faulty Comparison by Wrong Inclusion and Exclusion
    Sometimes, faulty comparison may be resulted from wrong inclusion or exclusion of a compared noun. This is because of inclusion or exclusion of other in comparison.

Study the following sentence.

*Covering 46% of the Earth’s water surface, and about one-third of its total surface, The Pacific Ocean is bigger than any oceanic water body in the world.

When Pacific Ocean is compared with any oceanic water body, the comparison is faulty. The expression any oceanic water body means that all oceanic water bodies. This includes even Pacific Ocean, giving a sense that Pacific Ocean is bigger than Pacific itself. This is an instance of wrong inclusion. Thus we need to use other. The following is the correction.

*Covering 46% of the Earth’s water surface, and about one-third of its total surface, The Pacific Ocean is bigger than any other oceanic water body in the world.

*His plays translated into every major living language, Shakespeare, the English dramatist who wrote 38 plays, is more popular in non-English speaking countries of Asia than any other Asian dramatist.

By using any other Asian dramatist, the sentence implies that Shakespeare is an Asian dramatist. This comparison wrongly includes Shakespeare among Asian dramatists. Thus, we should not use other to make the comparison logical. The following is the correction of the sentence.

*His plays translated into every major living language, Shakespeare, the English dramatist who wrote 38 plays, is more popular in non-English speaking countries of Asia than any Asian dramatist.

Example
Rhodium, a platinum group metal whose commercial extraction is quite complex as it exists in ores mixed with other metals, such as gold and platinum, is more costly than any metal in the world.
A. exists in ores mixed with other metals, such as gold and platinum, is more costly than any metal
B. exists in ores mixed with other metals, such as gold and platinum, is more costly than all other metals
C. exists mixed with other metals in ores, such as gold and platinum, is more costly than all other metals
D. exists in ores mixed with other metals, like gold and platinum, and is costlier than any metal
E. existing in ores mixed with other metals, such as gold and platinum, is costlier than all metals
Solution
Explanation: though the sentence is correct on other fronts, it has the error of faulty comparison. Because rhodium is a metal, the comparison should have the expression ‘any other metal’ to make the comparison correct.
Option A: the option is with the problem of faulty comparison.
Option B: correct. This option corrects the faulty comparison error by using other.
Option C: though faulty comparison error is corrected, the option creates misplacement problem with prepositional phrase such as gold and platinum. This phrase logically modifies the noun other metals and thus, should be placed after that noun phrase.
Option D: the use of like to introduce examples is incorrect. Using the conjunction and is incorrect as the whole expression is a single sentence.
Option E: we need to use a finite verb exists for the reason clause starting with as. However, the incomplete verb used (existing) results in fragment there.

 

  1. Faulty Comparison Because of Absence of Parallelism
    The elements compared should be parallel, that is, they must be in similar form. The error of faulty comparison is resulted by the use of non-parallel elements. Sometimes, these non-parallel elements in comparison may result in strange meanings.

Study the following to understand this concept.

* Bald head is more common in men than women.

In the above sentences, the elements compared are men and women. The first noun men is in a preposition phrase while the second one is just a noun. This gives illogical meaning as expressed below.

? Bald head is more common in men than women (are in men).

This implies that bald head is common in men and that women are common in men, but the presence of bald head in men is more than the presence of women in men. This kind of illogical sense is resulted from the use of dissimilar elements in comparison.

To correct this error, we need to use parallel forms for the elements compared.

Study the correction below.

* Bald head is more common in men than in women.

Now study one more example of a bit higher difficulty and understand the correction.

* She cried not so much out of pain as shame.

* She cried not so much out of pain as out of shame.

In the above sentence, the elements compared are out of pain and shame. These two are made parallel in the correction to remove the faulty comparison caused by absence of parallelism.

 

Example
During global economic crises, credit-based financial institutions are adversely influenced more by increasing number of defaulters than the shrinking clientele base.
During global economic crises, credit-based financial institutions are adversely influenced more by increasing number of defaulters than the shrinking clientele base.
A. the shrinking clientele base.
B. the shrinking of clientele base
C. it is by the shrinking clientele base
D. they are by the shrinking clientele base
E. by the shrinking of clientele base
 
Solution
Explanation: the two factors that adversely influence credit-based financial institution: increasing number of defaulters and the shrinking clientele base. These two must be parallel in form. This principle is violated, creating ambiguity.
Option A: the option is with the problem of absence of parallelism in comparison.
Option B: this option also presents the same parallelism problem.
Option C: though the problem of ambiguity is corrected by using the parallel phrase by the shrinking clientele base (which is correctly parallel to by increasing number of defaulters), the pronoun it does not agree with the plural antecedent credit-based financial institutions.
Option D: though the option is correct in the above fronts, the use of they are is redundant.
Option E: correct. This is the best option correcting the parallelism error in comparison and presenting the idea concisely.
  1. Faulty Comparison by Comparing Nouns When Actions are to be Compared
    Sometimes, the sentence needs comparison between actions, rather than between nouns. In such cases, we need to use two clauses to make the comparison logical. If comparison is made between two nouns in such cases, the sentences result in faulty comparison.

Study the following to understand this error.

? Like electrons orbiting around the nucleus, the planets in our solar system move around the sun.

In the above example, the orbiting of electrons around the nucleus is to be compared to that of planets. Thus, two actions are to be compared, whereas in the sentence, two nouns are compared. The correction is as follows.

*Just as electrons orbit around the nucleus, the planets in our solar system move around the sun.

Example
The feminist movement fought for reforms in issues like equal pay and voting rights for women, in the same way, the Labor Movement started to fight against exploitation of the employers.
A. The feminist movement fought for reforms in issues like equal pay and voting rights for women, in the same way,
B. As the feminist movement fought for the reforms in issues, such as equal pay and voting rights for women,
C. Just as reforms in issues, such as equal pay and voting rights for women were fought for by the feminist movement,
D. Just as the feminist movement fought for reforms in such issues as equal pay and voting rights for women,
E. Just like the feminist movement that fought for reforms in issues like equal pay and voting rights for women,
Solution
Explanation: the sentence contains two clauses which are to be connected by a conjunction. However, no such conjunction is used in the sentence, resulting in comma splice error. Moreover, the option wrongly uses like in the place of required such as to introduce examples.
Option A: the sentence is a run-on sentence without any conjunction.
Option B: the as clause used this way implies causal relation, giving the sense that feminist movement’s activities are the cause for the activities of Labor Movement. This sense is illogical.
Option C: though we can use just as to bring out comparison, the unnecessary shift in subject cannot logically establish the required comparison. Moreover, the use of passive is unjustified.
Option D: correct. This option logically compares the two actions.
Option E: this option compares nouns, whereas the comparison is required between two actions.

 






Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name