be comparable to or be comparable with?

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flowersophy

Senior Member
Chinese-China
Hi,

Agriculture was a step in human progress to which subsequently there was not anything comparable until our own machine age.
(Quoted from an English test paper in China)

Can “to” in the sentence above be replaced by “ with”?
By the way, I have checked some related threads on the forum, but I still feel confused.

Thanks in advance!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, 'to' and 'with' can both be used with 'compare' and 'comparable'. Some people might use them with subtly different meanings, but I think for many people they are the same. No doubt one is more common than another ('comparable to' sounds more natural to me), but that doesn't make it more correct.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They’re used more or less interchangeably. But they are sometimes differentiated so that comparing one thing TO another is saying they’re similar, whereas comparing one thing WITH another is used when pointing out their differences.

    See under USAGE here: compare | Oxford Dictionaries.
     
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