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compared with and compared to

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By Mary Morel

Is there a difference in meaning between the following two sentences?

We compared our results with previous years to see the difference.
We compared our results to previous years to see the difference.

Compared with and compared to are used interchangeably today, but do have subtle differences in meaning.

If you wish to distinguish between them, use compared to when stressing similarities between the items you are comparing.

He compared the chocolate chilli chicken to the dog’s dinner.

Use compared with to examine both similarities and differences.

Australia is in a good economic position compared with other many other countries.

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