read strunk's rule on this, but still not sure if i gor it right. Is "compared with" used for contrasting things with differences. Is "compared to" used for comparing similar things? Please give examples for illustration.

What is more correct: "The agriculture sector grew 50% this year compared to last year." "or compared with last year."Emotion: big smile
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Clive wrote: However, it goes on to note that in current usage, to and with are often interchangeable. So, I would consider Strunk rather out-of-date on this.

To Clive: In the past, certain rules were considered more important than they are today; however, this does not mean that Strunk is out-of-date. Strunk provides the foundation of what is correct based on decisions made by grammar experts as our language evolves, regardless of the level of importance people place upon such rules.
Kroskris wrote: Honestly, Strunk's rule-- and Fowler's before him-- are ignored by most every native speaker now alive.

To Kroskris: Rules for spoken and written English often differ, as allowances are made for relating ideas in colloquial language that are considered incorrect if formally written. For this reason, as well as the "level of importance" idea in the response to Clive's statement (see above), one cannot learn rules of grammar based on what speakers choose to ignore.

To answer the original question presented in this post, the correct usage is the following:

"The agriculture sector grew 50% this year compared to last year."

Hello Anon,

You have an interesting view of language.
Anonymouswhat is correct based on decisions made by grammar experts
We don't have an Academy of English. People do not tell us "what is correct." We have various standards of English and usage panels and such, but in fact, how a word is used in real situations determines what is correct.
Anonymousas our language evolves
You seem to ignore this part yourself. Language DOES evolve. Things not were acceptable in the past are accepable now. Words used with certain meanings in the past have different meanings now. We don't sit waiting for "grammar experts" to tell us this. The people who USE the langauge determine what is correct. You don't have to like the changes. Sometimes I don't like them. I hate that "u" is now showing up in business e-mail. But it's a fact. Language changes. Sometimes in ways we like and sometimes in ways that make us grit our teeth.
Anonymousregardless of the level of importance people place upon such rules
To the contrary, that's exactly what happens. There is no magic moment in the evolution of language in which one day something is unacceptable and the next day the "experts" say it is acceptable.

We start sentences with "Hopefully,..." now, because people chose to ignore that it should describe a person's mood. We say "I will" because people chose to ignore (if they ever knew) the difference between "I shall" and "I will." We use "their" for a singular, gender-neutral pronoun because speakers got tired of ignoring women by always saying "he" or using the cumbersome "he/she."
Anonymouslanguage evolves
I won't convince you. I know that.

But I will maintain till my dying breath that it's more important to be understood, to be clear, to be brief, or witty, or motivating, or educational, or informative, or inspiring, with your words than it is to be "correct."
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