In English grammar, comparisons are used to describe the similarities or differences between two or more things. However, when a comparison is incomplete, it can cause confusion for the reader and weaken the overall impact of the writing. In this blog, we will explore what incomplete comparisons are, provide examples, and offer tips for avoiding them in your own writing.
What are incomplete comparisons?
An incomplete comparison is a comparison that lacks the necessary information to make a fair and clear comparison. For example, “The cake is sweeter than the pie” is an incomplete comparison because it does not specify what aspect of the cake and pie is being compared (e.g. flavor, texture, etc.).
It would be correct if you say.
The cake is sweeter in taste than the pie.
The cake is better in flavour than the pie.
Incomplete comparison examples
- Incomplete comparison: “The book is longer than the movie.” (Without specifying what is being compared, it is unclear if the comparison is being made between the length of the story, the runtime of the movie, or the number of pages in the book.)
- Complete comparison: “The book takes a longer time to complete than the movie does.”
- Incomplete comparison: “The car is faster than the bicycle.” (Without specifying what is being compared, it is unclear if the comparison is being made between the top speed of the car and bicycle, or the speed of each mode of transportation over a certain distance.)
- Complete comparison: “The car runs faster than the bicycle.”
- Incomplete comparison: “She is smarter than him.” (Without specifying what is being compared, it is unclear if the comparison is being made between their intelligence, education, or a particular subject.)
- Complete comparison: “She is more educated than him” OR “He has better IQ than him”
How to avoid incomplete comparisons
It is easy to avoid incomplete comparisons if you understand it correctly. Remember that whenever you’re writing, ask yourself if someone would be able to tell which two (or more) subjects are being compared from a single sentence.
If the answer is yes, then you have avoided an incomplete comparison. 🙂
By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can avoid making incomplete comparisons and improve the overall quality of your writing. Whether you are writing for work, university, or personal reasons, using clear and accurate comparisons can help you communicate your ideas effectively.