Commonly Confused Words

Compared to vs. Compared with

  • Both of these phrases are used to look at two different items side by side, i.e., to compare them.

  • Compare to: To compare something to something else is to observe or point only to likenesses between them. In other words, you are likening one thing to another, or you are making a comment about their similarities. (拟人)

    He compared their historic win to that of the 1992 Dream Team.

  • Compared with: To compare something with something else is to place the items side by side, noting differences and similarities between them.

    They won the championship in a clean sweep, compared with last year’s game 7 loss.

while vs. whereas

  • Both words can be used to show contrast

  • while is more closely associated with time and duration.

    While I cooked, she set the table.

  • whereas has more to do with contrast.

    This one is black, whereas that one is white.

analysis vs. analyze

analysis = noun; analyze = verb

In RNA-seq analysis, we analyzed the data with ….

principle vs. principal

Principal = adjective; Principle = noun

The principal author (主要作者) outlined the theories and principles that arose from the study.

effect vs. affect

Effect = noun; Affect = verb

The effect was strong; the drug affected all members of the experimental group.

personnel vs. personal

Personnel = noun (人员;职员;人事部门); Personal = adjective

The company’s personnel do not like to discuss their personal problems.


How to tackle academic writing?


Pursuing the dream and the best future

CHENYUAN Blog Homepage

因为不想遗忘! 在这个信息大爆炸的年代,最重要的是对知识的消化-吸收-重铸。每天学了很多东西,但是理解的多少,以及能够运用多少是日后成功的关键。作为一个PhD,大脑中充斥了太多的东西,同时随着年龄的增长,难免会忘掉很多事情。所以只是为了在众多教程中写一个自己用到的,与自己...… Continue reading