I have been hearing something lately that sounds rather odd to me. I hear some people using "to" instead of "than" when making comparisons. For example:

New York City is bigger to Chicago.

Anacondas are longer to pythons.

I was taught and have for years heard people use "than" rather than "to" in those situations.

Is using "to" rather than (or to) "than" being taught nowadays?

I feel like I've slipped into a parallel dimension when I hear this form of expression.

Tags: grammar, modern, usage

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I wonder if Rocky is looking for work. Hmmm.

It is called evolving language, and nobody will stop it. If it didn't evolve, we would be speaking like Shakespeare. It is just the way of the world.

It doesn't matter what kids are being taught at school, they will evolve the language.

Like - drives me crazy, and that is everywhere.

Also the American 'I could care less' when I say "I couldn't care less'.

All frustrating for me.

I'm sure many a trend has died due to meeting resistance. 

Also, this usage has been evident among presumably well-educated adults. The last time I heard it was by a British male co-host on CNN. I'd bet my life he's well-schooled. 

As a retired ESOL teacher I contend that prepositions make the least sense of any English grammatical structure. In MANY cases, when asked why one preposition rather than another which seems to make more sense, I just have to say, "Don't try to understand prepositions. Just practise them."

Having said that I must say I've never heard anything like"

"New York City is bigger to Chicago.

Anacondas are longer to pythons."

What I DO hear increasingly is "different to" rather than "different from". Which sounds odd to me. I'd call it "wrong" until I see it published in someplace like The Chicago Manual of Style.

I have run into "different to" also, and I want to scream "different from! different from!"

Some misuse of language goes back to the foreigner's native language. For example, Russian must not have definite and indefinite articles since it's so typical of a Russian attempting English to just leave them out. 

"Ivan went to store to get hammer" instead of "Ivan went to the store to get a hammer."

They also don't seem to bet our verb "to be" and likewise simply omit it.

"Ivan going to hospital" instead of "Ivan is going to the hospital." (As an aside, the British don't put "the" in front of "hospital," or even "a" or "an," which seems odd to American ears. I don't think there's any grammatical reason they don't. It's probably just a colloquialism because they would use an article if one substituted "airport" for "hospital.")

"Went to hospital"

Just like went home or went to work - no determiner.

Although living in a foreign country, I had the advantage of being able to teach "American" English - which most people seemed to want to learn, (while preferring to hide that fact in social situations).

So you'd say "Martin went to airport," no determiner?

No, just certain words - no "logic" involved. "Home" doesn't even take a preposition. Why? What it is. The most common language is also language which is least compliant with "rules".

"Went to hospital" or "he is in hospital" is, I believe a Britishism, Americans would say "went to the hospital" or "he is in the hospital" or even "he is hospitalized"

For example, Russian must not have definite and indefinite articles since it's so typical of a Russian attempting English to just leave them out.

You are quite correct in this, there's no word equivalent to "a," "an," or "the."  And they don't often use "is" and other forms of "to be" either (though it does exist), and you will sometimes see in written Russian a long "em" dash where the "is" ought to go.  They would render "the cat is on the mat" as "cat on mat," or "Putin is the President of Russia" as "Putin--president of Russia"  (Well technically they use the genitive case instead of an "of" but hopefully you get the idea.)

I'm trying to imagine growing up in Russia and trying to learn English. These articles...what are they for? I just don't get it.

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