Compare and Contrast in English
Using the right words and phrases can help you express your ideas in English
To describe your thoughts and ideas, you can compare
In English, you can use certain words to compare people,
things, or ideas to show how they are similar or the same. You can also use certain words
to contrast, or tell how
people, things, or ideas are different.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
To begin, you should know the
of compare and contrast.
Compare and contrast
to tell how two or more things are similar
or the same.
The men all have blue shirts and red vests.
The men are all wearing brown hats.
The men all have mustaches.
is to tell how two or more things are different.
Three people are taller than the others.
Two people are shorter than the others.
Only one person has blond hair.
Only one man has red hair.
There are three women but only two men.
Words and phrases that
You can use these words and phrases to compare
- as well as
- in common
- in comparison
- same as
Read this paragraph using comparison
Lisa and Janet have many things in common
They are very similar
They are both
good athletes. Lisa likes to play basketball. Janet also
likes to play basketball. Lisa has a dog, and Janet has a dog too
. Janet enjoys
playing piano. Similarly
Lisa also studies piano. Lisa has three
brothers. Janet has three brothers as well
Words and phrases that contrast
You can use these words or phrases to contrast
- as opposed to
- contrary to
- different from
- on the other hand
Read this paragraph that uses contrasting
words and phrases.
Mrs. Smith has three children. They are each different
Tommy and John are the boys. Tommy likes to be outside and play
baseball or football. John is different
Tommy because he enjoys staying inside
playing video games. On the
, Mary does not like baseball, football, or video
games. Mary enjoys studying and reading. The two boys have birthdays in
Mary’s birthday is in July. Mary loves chocolate ice cream, but
Tommy loves vanilla
ice cream. John is unlike
other two because he doesn’t even like ice cream!
Compare and contrast in English
This paragraph compares
and contrasts the American Flag and the British Flag. The comparison
words and phrases are red.
words and phrases are blue.
The American Flag and the British Flag are similar
in some ways. They have the same colors: blue, red, and white. They
the same size. However,
the American Flag differs
from the British Flag because the American Flag has 50 stars. The
American Flag has 13 red and white stripes and a blue square and stars
in the corner. Contrary
to the American Flag, the British Flag has a red cross on
a white field with the Union Flag in the background.
Comparatives and Superlatives
Comparatives and superlatives are
types of adjectives and adverbs that can be used to compare two or more things or people.
Read our illustrated lesson here: Comparatives