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Looking at some examples of the usage of the word verbatim, I found cases where you talk about a single object (a piece of text for example) and use verbatim as an adverb as a synonim of "exactly, to the letter"

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/verbatim#:~:text=If%20you%20repeat%20something%20verbatim,in%20the%20state%2Drun%20newspapers.&text=Verbatim%20is%20also%20an%20adjective,conversation%20she's%20had%20this%20week.

If you repeat something verbatim, you use exactly the same words as were used originally.

The President's speeches are regularly reproduced verbatim in the state-run newspapers

I would like to use verbatim in a comparative sentence, but I'm not sure which preposition verbatim needs to use:

Example:

This text is exactly like the ancient one

This text is identical to the ancient one

This text is verbatim (as/to/like/[blank]?) the ancient one

Can verbatim be used to compare things like this? How should I use it if I want to say that two texts are identical in content?

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  • You mean preposition and not pronoun, don't you?
    – user405662
    Dec 8, 2022 at 14:13
  • 1
    yes, corrected, thanks
    – Elerium115
    Dec 8, 2022 at 14:14
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    Without the "is," This text matches the ancient one verbatim. Dec 8, 2022 at 14:56
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    But note, if the "ancient" one is in a different language to the "modern" one, then the latter is not a verbatim recital of the former.
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 8, 2022 at 14:58
  • In the case @DanBron refers to, we would say something like "literal translation of".
    – Barmar
    Dec 9, 2022 at 20:37

1 Answer 1

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Verbatim with

Verbatim is rarely used in this manner, with an explicit comparison. You would say "This text is verbatim" (with the reference assumed from context), or "This text is a verbatim copy of the ancient one".

However, I have found some old examples of "verbatim with".

"A Chapter on the Harmonizing Gospels" by "The Late Duke of Manchester" in The Journal of Sacred Literature in 1857 has several instances of "verbatim with the Septuagint" for quotations that are identical in the Septuagint and the text under discussion.

Google Books has a 1816 copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare which claims to be "collated verbatim with the most authentic copies".

So "with" was used at least in the 19th century.

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  • Valuable as historical research, but the caveat about 'verbatim with' being rare / unidiomatic (and hence best avoided in modern writing) is even more helpful. Jan 7, 2023 at 16:38

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