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There is a sentence: He quotes no less an authority than Confucius with regard to the primal imoportance of food. Food, said the sage, is the first happiness.
I wonder if it can be interpreted as: He quotes an authority's words. This person is as authoritative as Confucius and he said food is the first happiness.
But according to some traslation, it seems the sage that is mentioned is just confucius himself.
Which one is correct understanding? Could you explain? Thanks.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
I think that you have asked a very good question. I can easily see how that sentence might seem ambiguous, especially to
I think that if you wanted to compare another authority to Confucius, you would need to write something like:
"He quotes Ms. Jones, who is no less an authority/ not any less an authority/ not less an authority than
Master Confucius [is an authority] on this subject."
Credit: A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language.
Thank emsr2d2 and TheParser for your explanation. Now I'm clear. The sentence given for comparison is really helpful.