Das Leben wird oft mit einer Reise verglichen.

English Translation

Life is often compared to a voyage.

“zu” works here just as well as “mit”

Maybe I just can’t think of an exception right now, but I don’t think “vergleichen” is used with “zu”. It is always with “mit”.

There is “im Vergleich zu”, but that is a different construct that expresses constrast (“versus”).

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Wouldn’t you say:

  • Man kann das Leben zu einer Reise vergleichen.

  • Sie wurde zu einer Göttin verglichen.

No, that sounds just wrong. Both.

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It’s interesting. English has both “compare to” and “compare with” which have slightly different meanings, but german doesn’t seem to distinguish between those to.