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When making a comparison, avoid making illogical or unclear statements
In illogical comparisons, the writer uses a faulty structure, which often leaves out a key element or idea.
- Illogical: The blender at this store is cheaper than the other store.
[The blender costs less than a store?]
- Logical: The blender at this store is cheaper than the one at the other store.
- Illogical: I think green cleaning products perform as well, or better, than traditional ones.
[As well than?]
- Logical: I think green cleaning products perform as well as, or better than, traditional ones.
- Illogical: Unlike Consuela, Devon’s cooking is bland.
[Consuela is not like Devon’s cooking? Should she be?]
- Logical: Unlike Consuela’s cooking, Devon’s is bland.
- Unlike Consuela, Devon cooks bland foods.
- Illogical: Pepe eats more than anyone I know.
[I know Pepe, so he can’t eat more than anyone I know!]
- Logical: Pepe eats more than anyone else I know.
In unclear comparisons, the reader can’t tell what or who is being compared.
- Unclear: Greta paid a lower price for the concert tickets.
[Lower than somebody else paid? Lower than she paid for something else?]
- Clear: Greta paid a lower price for the concert tickets than Abdul did.
- Greta paid a lower price for the concert tickets than for the tickets to the play.
- Unclear: Fred sees Joanne more often than Naomi.
[Does Fred see Naomi? Or does Naomi see Joanne?]
- Clear: Fred sees Joanne more often than he sees Naomi.
- Fred sees Joanne more often than Naomi does.
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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Public Services and Procurement
A tool created and made available online by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada