0

How is the Coca Cola recipe different in the U.S. from the U.K.?

My question is whether this is the correct form of this type of question or it should be "from in the U.K." or even "from that in the U.K."

7
  • Both versions are fine. It's normal in English to "delete" predictably repeated elements such as the Coca Cola recipe and in in your context (which can optionally be "replaced" by that in/of, or simply discarded altogether). I can't see any significance to the choice, which doesn't really seem to have anything to do with "correctness" or "level of formality". – FumbleFingers Nov 8 '20 at 14:07
  • 3
    While understandable, the sentence compares the soda recipe and a country: How is the recipe different from England? Can't we have "How is the Coca Cola recipe different in the U.S. and in the U.K.?" – Yosef Baskin Nov 8 '20 at 15:02
  • ... Yes; I'd prefer 'How is the Coca Cola recipe in the U.S. different from that in the U.K.?' or perhaps 'How does the US Coca Cola recipe differ from that used in the UK?' – Edwin Ashworth Nov 8 '20 at 15:45
  • This is interesting for me, a speaker of British English. I find myself agreeing with the comments, but I thought that "different than", rather than "different from", was standard in American English. – Philip Wood Nov 8 '20 at 17:07
  • 1
    @Cascabel Thank you. I had no idea. In England we also hear the dreaded "different to". And over the last twenty or thirty years, "like" has almost ousted "as" in many contexts. For example, it's rare to hear "as if" or as though" in a sentence spoken in England. – Philip Wood Nov 8 '20 at 19:29
0

The problem with all of these is that they come off sounding as though one were comparing a recipe with a country:

  1. How is the Coca Cola recipe different in the U.S. from the U.K.?
  2. How different is the U.S. Coca Cola recipe from the U.K.?
  3. How does the U.S. Coca Cola recipe differ from the U.K.?

Example (3) above leads to an immediate understanding of the error, and to its solution.

In comparisons of two things using different or similar and a preposition to or from, keeping the two words involved closer to each other results in a clearer construction than letting them drift farther away from each other does.

  1. How does the U.S. Coca Cola recipe differ from the U.K.’s?
  2. How is the Coca Cola recipe in the U.S. different from the one in the U.K.?
  3. How is the Coca Cola recipe in the U.S. different from that of the U.K.?
  4. How is the Coca Cola recipe in the U.S. different from the U.K.’s?
  5. How is the U.S. Coca Cola recipe different from the U.K. Coca Cola recipe?
  6. How is the U.S. Coca Cola recipe different from the U.K.’s?

If you do split different and from, you need to be careful to remain consistent in your comparisons so that you are always comparing like things, not different things:

  1. How different is the U.S. Coca Cola recipe from the one in the U.K.?
  2. How different is the U.S. Coca Cola recipe from that of the U.K.?
  3. How different is the U.S. Coca Cola recipe from the U.K.’s?

Now you’re still comparing one recipe with another recipe, not trying to compare a recipe with a country. It’s better this way because even though people will probably work out what you had meant, you shouldn’t ask them to. Instead you should state it more clearly in the first place by comparing only like things with each other.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.