Logical Comparisons

Logical Comparisons

Comparisons must also use parallel structure.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

Staying well-organized is just as important as being on time.

Most faulty comparisons relate to the notion that you can’t compare apples and oranges.  You don’t merely want comparisons to be grammatically similar; they must be logically similar as well.

WRONG:  The rules of chess are more complex than checkers. 
(This compares the rules of chess to the entire game of checkers)

RIGHT:  The rules of chess are more complex than those of checkers.
RIGHT:  Chess is more complex than checkers.

A faulty comparison example – note what is wrong here:

The quality of sound on a compact disc is much better than a cassette tape.

You must also make sure you are using the correct form for comparatives and superlatives.  When you are comparing 2 items, you must use the –er form (more, stronger, faster, bigger).  When comparing 3 or more items you can use the superlative –st form (most, biggest, fastest, strongest).

Not Only, But

Strategy:

  1. Locate “not only” earlier in the sentence.
  2. Pick the answer choice with “but” in it.

If “Not only” appears in the earlier portion of a sentence, further along there must be “but (also).”

Not only does Ellen enjoy baking bagels, but she also enjoys smoking salmon.

The Pope not only blesses Catholics, but he also blesses patrons of other religions and sects.