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I am wondering, which one is correct:

Unlike in something, in something else it is easy to...

Unlike something, in something else it is easy to...

My instinct tells me both versions could be correct, but I just want to be sure. Plus, I guess the preposition does not matter here, it could be "on", "at" and so on. Does conjunction matter though? E.g. could we replace Unlike with While or any other conjunction used for comparison?

Also, does it matter if we add anything after the phrase?

Unlike in something, where this acts this way, in something else it is easy to...

Unlike something, where this acts this way, in something else it is easy to...

In here, since the parentheses might be pretty long, seems for me it is proper to remind the reader that we are comparing some items. Am i right?

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Use unlike x when you compare something directly to x.

Unlike rats, bats have wings.

This means bats are different from rats because bats have wings. Rats and bats are compared directly.

Use unlike in x when x forms the context of your discussion, and you compare something with an aspect of x.

Unlike in running, you need to time your breathing carefully when swimming.

This means breathing while running and breathing while swimming are managed differently; it does not compare swimming with running directly.

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The "unlike" is of no relevance here; what matters is the clause that the something is the object of. For example:

Unlike with biscuits, which get soft as time goes on, in the cake world you will find that hardness indicates something has been sitting around for a long time.

So your example "Unlike something, where this acts this way" is incorrect, as "something where this" doesn't work. It either needs to be "somewhere where this" or "in something where this".

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