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This question already has an answer here:

I am just wondering about the difference between:

in contrast to

and

in contrast with

marked as duplicate by sumelic, Drew, choster, FumbleFingers meaning Oct 14 '17 at 16:04

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12

In fact, they could be used interchangeably, however, "in contrast with" is more common in UK English.

Moreover,

When we say "contrast with", CONTRAST is behaving as a verb.

Example: "He likes to contrast his checkered jacket with plain pants" or "his checkered jacket contrasts with his plain pants."

But when we say "in contrast to", it is behaving as a noun.

Example: "His checkered jacket stands in contrast to his plain pants." (As you can see, in this sentence "stands" is the verb).

(Testluv, GMAT Instructor, Beat the GMAT forum)

1

The answer is as follows:

Use 'to' when contrast is used as a noun; use 'with' when contrast is used as a verb.

Noun: ‘the day began cold and blustery, in contrast to almost two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine’

Verb: ‘his friend's success contrasted with his own failure’

Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/contrast

  • I can't find any such explanation in the source you cited. – pchaigno Oct 17 '18 at 12:03
1

The most obvious difference is frequency: "in contrast to" is substantially more common than "in contrast with".

The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) shows "in contrast to" as having a frequency of 4706, compared to "in contrast with" which only has a frequency of 463.

The Google Ngram Viewer indiates that "in contrast to" is more common in the present day in both American and British English. However, "in contrast with" does not seem to be an especially new usage: in fact, if the Google Ngram Viewer can be trusted, it was more common than "in contrast with" at one point. I don't know of any reason to consider "in contrast with" incorrect, unless we treat the mere fact that it is a minority usage as sufficient proof of its incorrectness.

"in contrast to" overtakes "in contrast with" around 1910

"contrast with" is used as a verb, but this is a different usage

The verb "contrast" collocates (in present-day English) with "with", and is not often used with "to", but this isn't obviously relevant to the use of these prepositions with the noun "contrast". There are many cases where the idiomatic preposition changes between related words with different parts of speech: although we say that things differ (verb) from one another, different (adjective) notoriously can be used with to, from or than.

0

Eilia's answer is wrong. "Contrast" is functioning as a noun in both cases. If it follows the word "in," it's a noun.

  • This misses being an answer to the question. – Xanne Jun 10 '17 at 10:08
  • 1
    All these relative position references to other answers need to be changed to some form of absolute reference- or better, removed completely. Just let each answer stand by itself. – Jim Jul 22 '17 at 7:24
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None of the other answers addresses the original question. Whether to use "to" or "with" in this phrase has nothing to do with the use of "contrast" as a verb. In both "in contrast to" and "in contrast with," "contrast" is used as a noun, and either preposition is acceptable (though some experts prefer "to").

0

Eilia's and user239892's answers ARE correct: after 'in' we say 'in contrast to' but if we use contrast as a verb, we always use 'contrast with'.

e.g. Your answer contrasts with Bill's. The third answer is wrong, in contrast to the first two.

  • 1
    All these relative position references to other answers need to be changed to some form of absolute reference- or better, removed completely. Just let each answer stand by itself. – Jim Jul 22 '17 at 7:24

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