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Hi.

Which sounds better, long or longer and difficult or more difficult?

1. [Many people believe that cicadas live for a short period of time, but they actually live a long/longer life as compared to other insects.]

2. [This question is difficult/more difficult as compared to the previous one.]

With #2, I'd definitely go for 'more difficult' but with #1 'long' would not be a bad idea, would it? I'd like someone to confirm this.

Thanks.
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1. longer

2. more difficult
I'd say :

1. Many people believe that cicadas live for a short period of time, but they actually live a long life compared with other insects.
2. This question is difficult compared with the previous one.

Let me take the 2nd as the example. "This question is difficult" is a complete sentence in itself and "(as)(it is) compared with/to" is nothing but a sentential adverbial phrase/clause to say how the statement in the sentence is deduced.

paco
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1. long
2. difficult

Without "than" to introduce the comparison group there is no reason to use "longer" or "more difficult". Comparison in itself does not automatically require a comparative form in the adjective or adverb.

CJ
Thank you all.

A patch of fog lifted. When new patches spill in, I'll be back.
I notice that you remove "as" from the original post. Both original sentences use "as compared to". I copy them here:

1. [Many people believe that cicadas live for a short period of time, but they actually live a long/longer life as compared to other insects.]

2. [This question is difficult/more difficult as compared to the previous one.]
But I also find such a sentence as follow from New York Times:
In the United States today, fewer than 500 babies are born with the infection each year, as compared with nearly 2,000 four years ago.
(quotes: http://www.nytimes.com/specials/women/warchive/970908_2357.html )

Are there any reson that "as" is added or removed?

Thanks
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There's no grammatical reason, no. You can add "as" or not. Personally, I leave it out.

CJ
Thanks for your prompt reply.
Both of the above exampes are flawed. The simplest way to express these comparisons with "more than" or "...er than."

"... they actually live longer than other insects"

"... they actually longer lives than other insects"

This question is more difficult than the previous one
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