Can you please tell me when to use compared with and when to use compared to?

Thank you
1 2
Oh! Oh! Pick me! I know!

Strictly speaking - as I learned the other day - an ordinary comparison should be "compared with".

"Compared to" is supposed to be used when you are suggesting that something (or someone) is comparable to something else; in the same class.

e.g. "He compared me to Hitler." = He said I was like Hitler.
but "He compared me with Hitler" = He examined my life and Hitler's to see how they compared.

Subtle, isn't it? Sadly, no one pays much attention to these fine distinctions anymore.

So, 'compared to' means something more like 'be similar to', while 'compare with' is an actual comparison being undertaken?
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The difference comes out more strongly in questions. (I've stranded prepositions to highlight the fact the the difference between 'compare to' and 'compare with' arises even in colloquial speech.)

Who would you compare John to?

Who would you compare John with?

The first question asks what other people the interlocutor thinks John is similar or comparable to. The second sentence is clearly not asking for this information.
Actually, it's...

To whom would you compare John? and

With whom would you compare John? or

Whom would you compare John to? and

Whom would you compare John with?
Actually, no. Both forms are OK. 'To/With whom' is very formal and normally only appears in written English. Native speakers more frequently use the 'Who...to/with' form in speech.

The 'Whom would you compare John to/with' form is unacceptable in either medium, though you will hear it from those who are trying to be correct but do not know how to.
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I believe that the three correct answers are:

Who would you compare John to/with?

To/with whom would you compare John?

Whom would you compare John to/with.
hi John! Not anymore. Just several hours ago, my student asked me about the distinction between the two and thanks to you because I'm not alone with what I know.

I gave an example not exactly because i know the rules but because it was the way i saw it in my readings. I exlained this way:

1. This lesson is more interesting compared to the previous one. ( I was talking about lessons under the same category) I hope this makes sense.....

2. Compared with Crystal, you are more enthusiastic. ( I compared a man and a girl which i think are totally different individuals)

How do you think?

I had to laugh at the way you started your reply. It is exactly how I still feel (at 50!) when I know something.

Thanks also for the information; it is something I'd been trying to find out for a while.
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