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    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 269
    #1

    compared

    Hi,

    I was wondering if someone could take a look for me at this sentence-Not compared to what they could be. in this context.
    Why does Michael use the past participle of this word (compared) ? If I say-Don't compare to what they could be. Is there a difference between them? I can not get this sentecne!

    Thanks for your help.




    S: No redness or swelling, so it's no sign of infection. I'm gonna keep you on antibiotics for the next ten days. You should be good. Michael, you understand, by law, I'm obligated to file a report if I feel there's been prisoner misconduct. There's no way this injury happened by stepping on a blade in a garden shed.
    M: If you file a report, things could get a lot worse for me.
    S: They're not already?
    M: Not compared to what they could be. I've made some enemies.
    S: Yeah. You scared? ...

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #2

    Re: compared

    Quote Originally Posted by XINLAI-UE View Post
    Hi,

    I was wondering if someone could take a look for me at this sentence-Not compared to what they could be. in this context.
    Why does Michael use the past participle of this word (compared) ? If I say-Don't compare to what they could be. Is there a difference between them? I can not get this sentecne!

    Thanks for your help.




    S: No redness or swelling, so it's no sign of infection. I'm gonna keep you on antibiotics for the next ten days. You should be good. Michael, you understand, by law, I'm obligated to file a report if I feel there's been prisoner misconduct. There's no way this injury happened by stepping on a blade in a garden shed.
    M: If you file a report, things could get a lot worse for me.
    S: They're not already?
    M: Not compared to what they could be. I've made some enemies.
    S: Yeah. You scared? ...
    Things aren't as bad for Michael as they could be.
    The sentences mean:
    M: If you file a report, things could get a lot worse for me. (Things are bad for me now)
    S: Things are not already bad for you?
    M: Yes, but they are not bad compared to what they could be. I've made some enemies.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 269
    #3

    Re: compared

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Things aren't as bad for Michael as they could be.
    The sentences mean:
    M: If you file a report, things could get a lot worse for me. (Things are bad for me now)
    S: Things are not already bad for you?
    M: Yes, but they are not bad compared to what they could be. I've made some enemies.
    Hi, Raymott,

    Your explanation just makes it pretty clear for me. Thank you, now I get it !



    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: compared

    Yes, but they are not bad compared to what they could be

    take a look for me at this sentence-"Not compared to what they could be."
    Why does Michael use the past participle of this word (compared) ? If I say-Don't compare to what they could be. Is there a difference between them? I can not get this sentence!


    The 'full' sentence would be:
    Yes, but things are not bad when they are compared (by me) to what things could be like for me.
    and
    Yes, but things are not bad when I compare them to what things could be like for me.

    Can you see: the reason that the past tense form of the verb, 'compared' , is used is because the sentence is in the passive voice.
    I clean (present tense) the cars : The cars are(present tense of 'to be') cleaned (past tense form of the verb)

    If I say-(They) Don't compare to what they could be. Is there a difference between them?

    The 'full' sentence would be:
    (You think things are bad for me? Not that bad. They don't compare (in my mind) to how bad things could be if "Butcher" Kelly found out I'd ratted/squealed on him.(= informed on him to a person in a position of authority, like the warden of the prison.)
    So, no, the meaning would not change.
    Last edited by David L.; 29-Jul-2008 at 16:47.

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