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  1. #1
    mtbrg is offline Newbie
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    Default Clarification of the use of 'than'

    Hi,
    my question is concerning the use of 'than'
    For example

    I like my mum more than my dad

    does this imply that 'I prefer my mum to my dad' or does this mean
    I like my mum more than my dad does

    Another example
    does 'Australia is closer to Asia than America"
    mean 'Australia is closer to Asia than it is to America'
    or Australia is closer to Asia than America is

    Also is saying
    'I am more popular in Australia than in Japan'
    a perfectly acceptable substitute for 'I am more popular in Australia than I am in Japan'?

    Any help would be appreciated
    M

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Clarification of the use of 'than'

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbrg View Post
    Hi,

    I like my mum more than my dad.

    Does this imply that 'I prefer my mum to my dad' Yes.

    Does 'Australia is closer to Asia than America'
    mean 'Australia is closer to Asia than it is to America' Yes.

    Also, is saying

    'I am more popular in Australia than in Japan'
    a perfectly acceptable substitute for 'I am more popular in Australia than I am in Japan'? Yes.

    Any help would be appreciated
    M
    Rover

  3. #3
    ~Mav~ is offline Member
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    Exclamation Re: Clarification of the use of 'than'

    *** NOT A TEACHER ***

    I was wondering about basically the same question, when I found this thread. It seems that it CAN be ambiguous.
    According to a native English speaker, "I love you more than anybody else" can mean either that you love several people but this is the one you love most, OR it could mean that you love this person more than anyone else loves this person.
    Barb (?) also suggested adding extra words in order to clarify the meaning, while I giggled when reading Clive's practical approach.

  4. #4
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Clarification of the use of 'than'

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Mav~ View Post
    *** NOT A TEACHER ***

    I was wondering about basically the same question, when I found this thread. It seems that it CAN be ambiguous.
    According to a native English speaker, "I love you more than anybody else" can mean either that you love several people but this is the one you love most, OR it could mean that you love this person more than anyone else loves this person.
    Yes, it's because the word anybody doesn't get changed.
    I love you more than her. -> It's clear that you love both.
    I love you more than she (does). -> It's clear that you only love one person.
    With your example this is not possible since anybody is always anybody.
    ("I love you more than anybody else does." would be a good idea, though.)

    P.S: Many native speakers would tend to use her even if they meant she

    Cheers!

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