Today's tip is short and sweet:
When making a comparison with words like different, better, or smaller, make sure you follow it up with the right kind of preposition.
"Than" is the most common choice, although some people use "from" after the word different.
The most common mistake we see is authors using the phrase "different to." This only works in specific usages of different, such as "He looks different to me." This works because there is no comparison being made.
RIGHT: His clothes were different from the last time she'd seen him.
WRONG: Her perfume smelled different to how it used to.
RIGHT: He was bigger than me.
WRONG: The cat was better as the dog at climbing.
Happy editing, everyone!
Every Wednesday and Saturday we bring you an edit tip of the day. Be sure to check out the archives for our popular summer series of SHOW DON'T TELL workshops!