Speaking in Academic Contexts

Rhetorical Functions in Academic Speaking: Comparison and contrast

When you are speaking at university, you need to do much more than just give informatrion. You should always be trying to do something with your speaking. One common function is comparing and contrasting, speaking about similarities and differences. There are many ways of expressing comparison and contrast in English.

Example

Look at the following table and read the text below. Pay attention to the comparisons and contasts.

  Price Processor Speed Screen Size Hard Disk RAM
Evesham Axis 1.33 SK £1,174 1.33 GHz 17" 40 GB 256 MB
Armani R850 P4. £2,467 1.7 GHz 19" 40 GB 256 MB
Mesh Elite 1.7GT Pro £1,938 1.7 GHz 19" 57 GB 256 MB
Elonex WebRider Pro £1,174 1.2 GHz 17" 38.1 GB 128 MB

 

We compared three personal computers, the Evesham Axis 1.33 SK, the Armani R850 P4 and the Mesh Elite 1.7 GT Pro, with respect to the following factors: price, processor speed and size of hard disk. The Evesham Axis, which costs £1,174, is by far the cheapest of the three, the Armani and the Mesh Elite costing £2,467 and £1,938 respectively. The Evesham Axis has the same hard disk size as the Armani, 40 MB, whereas the Mesh Elite is the largest at 57 GB. Regarding the processor speed, the Armani and the Mesh Elite are similar - the processor speed, at 1.7 GHz, being 0.37 GHz faster than the Evesham Axis.

Exercise

Try this exercise: Exercise 1, Exercise 2

Language

Comparison

The Evesham Axis is like the Elonex WebRider
The Evesham Axis and the Elonex WebRider are similar
The Evesham Axis is similar to the Elonex WebRider
The Evesham Axis is the same as the Elonex WebRider
The Evesham Axis resembles the Elonex WebRider

with respect to price.
as regards price.
as far as price is concerned.
regarding price.
in that the price is the same.
in terms of price.
in price.

 

Both the Evesham Axis and the Elonex WebRider cost £1,174.
The Evesham Axis is as expensive as the Elonex WebRider.
The Evesham Axis costs the same as the Elonex WebRider.
The Evesham Axis is the same price as the Elonex WebRider.

 

The Mesh Elite has a large screen. 

Similarly, it has a high capacity hard disk.
Likewise, it has a high capacity hard disk.
Correspondingly, it has a high capacity hard disk.
It has a high capacity hard disk, too.
It also has a high capacity hard disk.

Contrast

The Evesham Axis differs from the Armani
The Evesham Axis is unlike the Armani
The Evesham Axis and the Armani differ
The Evesham Axis is different from the Armani
The Evesham Axis contrasts with the Armani

with respect to price.
as regards price.
as far as price concerned.
regarding price.
in terms of price.
in price.

 

The Evesham Axis costs £1,174, whereas the Armani costs £2,467.
The Evesham Axis costs £1,174, while the Armani costs £2,467.
The Evesham Axis costs £1,174, but the Armani   costs £2,467.
The Evesham Axis costs £1,174, in contrast to the Armani , which costs £2,467.
The Armani is more expensive than the Evesham Axis.
The Evesham Axis is not as expensive as the Armani.
The Armani costs more than the Evesham Axis.

 

The Armani is expensive to buy. 

On the other hand, it is very fast and has a large screen.
In contrast, it is very fast and has a large screen.
Conversely, it is very fast and has a large screen.
However, it is very fast and has a large screen.

 

Although the Armani is expensive to buy,
Despite the high price of the Armani,

it is very fast and has a large screen.