29. Incomplete or Missing Comparisons

You may see sentences in the Structure section that contain comparisons. Many of these involve the comparative forms of adjectives.

On the average, the Pacific Ocean is deeper than the Atlantic.
Rhonda is a more experienced performer than Theresa.
This show is less interesting than the one we watched last night.

Be sure that the sentence compares similar things or concepts.

*The ears of African elephants are bigger than Indian elephants.
(INCORRECT)
The ears of African elephants are bigger than those of Indian elephants.
(CORRECT)

The first sentence above is incorrect because it compares two dissimilar things: an African elephant’s ears and an Indian elephant. In the second, the word those refers to ears, so the comparison is between similar things.

Another type of comparison involves the phrase as . . . as.

The lab lasted as long as the class did.
There weren’t as many people at the meeting as I had thought there would be.

The words like/alike and unlike/not alike can also be used to express comparison:

Like A, B . . .Unlike X, Y . . .
A, like B, . . .X, unlike Y, . . .
A is like B.X is unlike Y.
A and B are alike.X and Y are not alike.

In these sentences, similar-looking words such as likely, likewise, dislike, and unlikely may appear as distractors.

Other phrases can be used in making comparisons:

A is the same as BX is different from Y
A and B are the sameX and Y are different
A is similar to BX differs from Y

Proportional statement is a special kind of comparison. A proportional statement follows this pattern: The more A . . . the more B.

The higher the humidity, the more uncomfortable people feel.

Sample Item

Subtropical zones ________________ temperate zones, but they still have distinct summer and winter seasons.

(A) that are warmer
(B) warmer
(C) are warmer as
(D) are warmer than

Choice (A) creates a relative clause, which is not appropriate in this sentence; also, the choice lacks the word than. Choice (B) lacks both a verb and the word than. (C) incorrectly uses as in place of than. Therefore, the correct answer is (D).

________________ other mammals, whales do not have a sense of smell.

(A) Not alike
(B) Unlike
(C) Unlikely
(D) Dislike

Choice (A) is used only in the pattern “A and B are not alike.” (C) and (D) are not used in comparisons; unlikely is an adjective meaning “not probable”; dislike is a verb meaning “not enjoy, not admire.” Therefore, the correct answer is (B).

_______________ the diameter of a circle, the larger its circumference is.

(A) Greater than
(B) The greater
(C) Great as
(D) As great as

The correct pattern for a proportional statement is the more A . . . the more B. Only choice (B) follows this pattern.

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