These are the answers to the questions for this learning object.

Activity 1. Comparative Structures

Exercise 1.
1.) It can be argued that no other trend was nearly as/so concerning as this one.
2.) Although all the various theories have something to recommend them, some are not as/so good as others.
3.) Of the forty women, twenty-six claimed that their husbands did not work as/so hard as they did.
4.) Some firms are notas/so well-equipped as others to create new advantages of this kind.
5.) It suddenly appears that pragmatism does not fit our legal practices as/so well as conventionalism (does).
6.) Marx did not do as/somuch as Lenin (did) to contrast these administrative principles with the bureaucratic workings of the bourgeois state.
7.) The original option does not go nearly as/so far as the amendment that is now before us.
8.) Within these insurance companies, junior managers do not have as/so wide a responsibility as actuaries (do).
OR: Within these insurance companies, junior managers do not have such a wide responsibility as actuaries (do).
9.) A dominant adult cat does not approach another adult in as friendly a way as it does a young cat.
10.) The majority of road accident victims in Britain do not have as good a chance of surviving as similar cases in the USA (do).
OR: The majority of road accident victims do not have such a good chance of surviving as similar cases in the USA (do).
OR: The majority of road accident victims do not have as much chance of surviving as similar cases in the USA.

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Exercise 2.
1.) This argument is reinforced by observations that these patients consult more often than other patients after a stressful life event.
2.) The landing of the light aircraft was more of a problem at the other airport than it was in London.
OR: The landing of the light aircraft in London was less of a problem than it was at the other airport.
3.) The electorate in Berlin have more confidence in the government than the voters in the provinces.
4.) The students on these courses have more opportunities to travel overseas than those on other programmes (have).
OR: The students on other programmes have fewer opportunities to travel overseas than the students on these courses (have).
5.) The equipment prices turned out to be lower than was originally estimated at the start of the financial year.
6.) The emergency services did less than they should have done on this occasion.
7.) The synthetic polymers were more complicated in structure than the fabrics which were originally sent to us.
OR: The fabrics which were originally sent to us were less complicated in structure than the synthetic polymers (were).
8.) After the reforms, the tax system was less effective at redistributing wealth than before the changes were made.
9.) Scotland never does as well as the rest of the UK when it suffers from socialism and its legacy.
10.) The artistic approach produced better results than the scientific way of working.

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Activity 2. Linking Expressions

1. Although the paperwork is still time-consuming, it was much more complicated before the government reforms.
2. The U.K. in common with Greece has an enormous financial deficit to manage.
3. The accused was acquitted. Nevertheless, he went on to commit many other crimes in the next ten years.
4. The presenter from Japan was nervous. On the other hand, the speaker from China seemed full of confidence.
5. Much, though not all, of these regulatory changes were of benefit to both countries’ economies.

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Review of Main Points

It is helpful for all those who need to write in an academic context to practise the structures used to
compare and contrast information. We can use “as…as”, or “not…as/so…as”, with the base forms of adjectives to describe how similar two things are, in various respects. We can also use “not… such…as” with nouns to talk about similarity in the same way. Similarly, we can use comparative adjectives with “than” to make comparisons and the meaning is essentially the same. When connecting ideas that are compared or contrasted in text we can use a variety of linking expressions: “in contrast to”, “on the one hand”, “on the other hand”, “although”, “though”, “even though”, “nevertheless” and “however” can all be used for contrast, while “similarly” and “in common with” can be used to describe shared features.
The following websites contain further explanation and practice of this area of grammar:

http://www.uefap.com/writing/function/compcont.htm

Books with explanations and exercises to practise comparing and contrasting:
• Academic Writing A Handbook for International Students by Stephen Bailey, pp. 75-78
• How English Works By Michael Swan and Catherine Walter, pp. 79-93
• Oxford Practice Grammar by John Eastwood, pp. 110-117
• Grammar in Context by Hugh Gethin, pp.89-94

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