I'm writing a paper and I can't seem to determine the correct form of the word 'similar' to use in the following sentance:

"Similarly to the stone cameo of his wife Livia (fig. 2), this glass cameo features an image of the head of Augustus in total profile."

I think it is correct as-is. My fiance insists that I should be using the adjective 'similar'. She's usually much better than I am with grammar, but I'm fairly certain that in this sentance 'similarly' needs to be an adverb modifying 'features'. Can anyone help me?

Thanks, Adam
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[nq:1]I'm writing a paper and I can't seem to determine the correct form of the word 'similar' to use in ... but I'm fairly certain that in this sentance 'similarly' needs to be an adverb modifying 'features'. Can anyone help me?
Yup. Unless she's a guy, your fiance is your fiancée!
[nq:2]"Similarly to the stone cameo of his wife Livia (fig. ... fiance insists that I should be using the adjective 'similar'.
Your fiancee is correct. Similar is qualifying "this glass cameo". If you rearrange the order of the phrases, you get:

"This glass cameo, similar to the stone cameo of his wife Livia, features an image of the head of Augustus..."

which should make the meaning and grammar clearer.
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[nq:1]Your fiancee is correct. Similar is qualifying "this glass cameo". If you rearrange the order of the phrases, you get: ... of his wife Livia, features an image of the head of Augustus..." which should make the meaning and grammar clearer.
That was my first thought, but on reflection I have doubts-not about the correct word or the recasting, both of which are right as given above-but about whether the sentence says what is intended.

Both the original and recasting note that the glass cameo is like the stone cameo, but it looks to me as if what was wanted was a statement emphasizing that the point of similarity is their both featuring an image of Augustus's head.

A better casting might be something like:

This glass cameo, like the stone cameo of his wife Livia (fig. 2), features an image of the head of Augustus in total profile.

Or perhaps better yet:

This glass cameo features an image of the head of Augustus in total profile, (just) as does the stone cameo of his wife Livia (fig. 2).

-- Cordially, Eric Walker My opinions on English are available at http://owlcroft.com/english /
[nq:1]"Similarly to the stone cameo of his wife Livia (fig. 2), this glass cameo features an image of the head of Augustus in total profile."
Are you trying to say that one cameo is similar to the other or that the two cameos portray the image similarly?

The order of your words leads us to believe that you are comparing the cameos themselves, and so "similar" would be right -- but you seem to be in some confusion.

If you are really talking about the way way the image is depicted (in profile) you might consider rewording the whole as:

The stone cameo of Augustus's wife Livia (fig. 2) features the image of her head in total profile. This glass cameo similarly features the head of the Emperor himself.

I'm not sure that "total profile" is an improvement on "profile", or why you want to say "features" rather than, say, "depicts" ... but that's another matter entirely.

Cheers, Daniel.
Your fiancee is correct. Similar is qualifying "this glass cameo". ... of Augustus..." which should make the meaning and grammar clearer.

That was my first thought, but on reflection I have doubts not about the correct word or the recasting, both of ... of the head of Augustus in total profile, (just) as does the stone cameo of his wife Livia (fig. 2).

Eric, those versions wind up saying that the stone cameo bears two heads, one of Livia and one of Augustus, which surely is even farther from what was intended.
Mike987, when I try to puzzle out what it was you intended to emphasize, I get "in total profile." It doesn't sound terribly likely, because aren't profiles common on cameos? But maybe not at that time. Are you trying to stress that what is similar and noteworthy about the two cameos is they both use the profile position? We need to know what you meant.
To go back to the strict question of "similar/similarly," I am most used to "similarly" modifying the whole sentence: "Similarly, the X is Y when..." "Similarly to" does sound strange. I would expect it to be attached to a active verb, like "it functions similarly to," but the only verb is, as you say, "features," which is sort of weak and wimpish what would it mean to "feature similiarly to"?
Delmonico's features meatloaf on the menu.
*? Delmonico's features meatloaf on their menu, similarly to Robinson's?
You could get away with it, but I don't think it's at all clear.

Maybe what you want is "As does..."

Best Donna Richoux
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[nq:1]I'm writing a paper and I can't seem to determine the correct form of the word 'similar' to use in ... but I'm fairly certain that in this sentance 'similarly' needs to be an adverb modifying 'features'. Can anyone help me?
She already has. She's right.

Restructure the sentence to get that correct form. This glass cameo is similar(ly) to the stone cameo ... Clearly there is no "ly" in this restructured sentence.

And, you need a comma between wife and Livia, unless he has several wives and "Livia" is necessary to identify which wife you are referring to.

The problem of using the male form "fiance" has already been covered. Get used to it and follow her suggestions, as you will have to in the future.

GFH
[nq:1]I'm writing a paper and I can't seem to determine the correct form of the word 'similar' to use in ... but I'm fairly certain that in this sentance 'similarly' needs to be an adverb modifying 'features'. Can anyone help me?
I agree with everyone else that "similar" is better. You would want "similarly", modifying "features", if your point were that two cameos feature Augustus' head in the same way, for instance by using the same artistic techniques to give it prominence. But that doesn't seem to be what you're saying here.

As you might have gathered from Eric Walker's response, you can just use "Like". "Like the stone cameo of his wife..." In my opinion, for what it's worth to you, "Like" is better.

-- Jerry Friedman
[nq:2]"Similarly to the stone cameo of his wife Livia (fig. 2), this glass cameo features an image of the head of Augustus in total profile."
Are you trying to say that one cameo is similar to the other or that the two cameos portray the ... "profile", or why you want to say "features" rather than, say, "depicts" ... but that's another matter entirely. Cheers, Daniel.

What I am actually trying to say is that the cameos both depict a head in the same manner. In the case of the stone cameo, the head is that of Livia, and the glass cameo depicts Augustus' head. The point I am trying to make is that both heads are depicted, or featured, in the same manner, and I used the adverb to mean "featured similarly". However, it is obvious now that my structure does not convey my meaning clearly, so I will try to find a way to rephrase it.

Thanks, Adam
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