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  1. #1
    [nemo] Guest

    Question please give me a hand

    Disease can be ___, if not more so, to the well-being and progress of a nation than wars or economic depressions.
    A as harmful as
    B harmful
    C as harmful
    which is the answer? and why?
    thanks a lot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: please give me a hand

    Quote Originally Posted by [nemo]
    Disease can be ___, if not more so, to the well-being and progress of a nation than wars or economic depressions.
    A as harmful as
    B harmful
    C as harmful
    which is the answer? and why?
    thanks a lot
    I don't think any of them are . The least worst is C.

    To see why, ignore the parenthetic clause ",if not more so," and write out the main clause with the three alternatives:

    A "Disease can be AS HARMFUL AS to the well-being..." - clearly wrong. What is disease "as harmful as" in this sentence?

    B "Disease can be HARMFUL to the well-being and progress of a nation THAN wars or economic depressions." - clearly wrong. The sentence has the second part of a comparison, but not the first.

    C "Disease can be AS HARMFUL to the well-being and progress of a nation than wars or economic depressions." - This is wrong too. The sentence says that "Disease can be AS HARMFUL TO <X> THAN <Y>."

    The sentence is a bit of a mess. Let me re-write it slightly and see what you think:

    1) "Disease can be AS HARMFUL TO the well-being and progress of a nation THAN wars or economic depressions."

    Here I have removed the parenthetic clause for simplicity, because a parenthetic clause should never alter the form of the main clause. You should be able to see now that the sentence is ungrammatical. That means it must also be ungrammatical in the original form. Let me correct the new sentence:

    2) "Disease can be AS HARMFUL TO the well-being and progress of a nation AS wars or economic depressions."

    Now let me try replacing the parenthetic clause back into the corrected sentence:

    3) "Disease can be AS HARMFUL, if not MORE SO, TO the well-being and progress of a nation AS wars or economic depressions."

    It sounds better, but it isn't correct. Let me re-write the sentence as though the writer had not suddenly paused mid-thought:

    4) "Disease can be MORE HARMFUL TO the well-being and progress of a nation AS wars or economic depressions."

    The problem is that the writer has mixed two constructions together: "AS harmful TO <X> AS <Y>" has been mixed in with "MORE harmful TO <X> THAN <Y>". Neither now fits together properly.

    The real correct sentence is:

    5) "Disease can be AT LEAST AS HARMFUL to the well-being and progress of a nation as wars or economic depression."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: please give me a hand

    None of them -- the question is worded incorrectly, but it's a common error.

    The answer they are looking for is probably C. The sentence is actually two sentences combined, like this:

    Disease can be as harmful to [...] a nation as wars or economic depression
    if disease is not more harmful to [...] a nation than wars or economic depression.

    See the words in bold? They are different each time. Yet, in the original sentence, they use the word "than" in this position. But that's wrong, because you cannot say:

    * Disease can be as harmful to [...] a nation than wars [...]

    For the sentece to be grammatically correct, you would need to construct it like this:

    To the well-being and progress of a nation, disease can be as harmful as, if not more so than, wars or economic depressions.

    That breaks down into the following two sentences:

    [...] disease can be as harmful as wars or economic depressions
    if disease is not more harmful than wars or economic depressions

    As I said, this error is a very common one, and you will see it a lot in newspapers and magazines.

  4. #4
    oppo is offline Newbie
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    Smile thanks

    thanks my friends
    I am very happy to see the replies from you.
    Now i am clear about the sentence.
    You are so nice to help me ,and let's make friends.
    I am oppo from China.
    good luck
    see you later

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