# Thread: A question on a sentential structure

1. ## A question on a sentential structure

Code:
`The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has more than tripled`
I have hard time explaining this sentence structure to my students.

I know it has the present perfect form of 'triple'.
The difficulty lies in 'more than'. If it is simply 'more', it is a sort of adverb.

Having thought about it for a while, I've come up with this explanation.

Code:
`The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has increased more than (it has) tripled.`
So, the sentence in question is a sort of ellipse with the verb, increased, omitted for the sake of brevity without affecting the meaning it tries to convey.

Would you agree with me? If not, can you share your idea?

Thank you,
Rod

2. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

To me, if it has increased more than it has tripled, the increase would be much bigger as it implies two increases - 3x and one bigger than 3x. You could say 'has increased by more than three times' instead.

3. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has more than tripled

I know it doesn't help too much, but you could re-write the sentence like this;

The annual CO2 emission rate is more than triple what it was in 1995.

4. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

Originally Posted by driftwood
Code:
`The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has more than tripled`
I have hard time explaining this sentence structure to my students.

I know it has the present perfect form of 'triple'.
The difficulty lies in 'more than'. If it is simply 'more', it is a sort of adverb.

Having thought about it for a while, I've come up with this explanation.

Code:
`The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has increased more than (it has) tripled.`
So, the sentence in question is a sort of ellipse with the verb, increased, omitted for the sake of brevity without affecting the meaning it tries to convey.

Would you agree with me? If not, can you share your idea?

Thank you,
Rod
The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has more than tripled.

You probably accept this:
The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has tripled. = SV

What shall we do with that tiny 'more than'? I regard it as an idiomatic and optional (not needed for the grammaticality of the sentence) adverb.

5. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

Originally Posted by driftwood
Code:
`The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has more than tripled`
I have hard time explaining this sentence structure to my students.

I know it has the present perfect form of 'triple'.
The difficulty lies in 'more than'. If it is simply 'more', it is a sort of adverb.

Having thought about it for a while, I've come up with this explanation.

Code:
`The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has increased more than (it has) tripled.`
So, the sentence in question is a sort of ellipse with the verb, increased, omitted for the sake of brevity without affecting the meaning it tries to convey.

Would you agree with me? If not, can you share your idea?

Thank you,
Rod
'More than' functions here as a phrasal adverb (modifying the subsequent participle), being structurally analogous to a phrasal preposition such as 'as to' or a phrasal conjunction such as 'in that', and, like these, cannot meaningfully be analysed in terms of its constituent words.

Cf. the same two-word sequence in e.g.

He has more than I do.

which can be analysed in the standard way as [pronoun + conjunction].

6. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

Originally Posted by philo2009
'More than' functions here as a phrasal adverb (modifying the subsequent participle), being structurally analogous to a phrasal preposition such as 'as to' or a phrasal conjunction such as 'in that', and, like these, cannot meaningfully be analysed in terms of its constituent words.

Cf. the same two-word sequence in e.g.

He has more than I do.

which can be analysed in the standard way as [pronoun + conjunction].
Agreed. Phrasal adverb. Yes, I like this name. I think we are basically saying the same thing, Philo.

7. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

Originally Posted by Kondorosi
Agreed. Phrasal adverb. Yes, I like this name. I think we are basically saying the same thing, Philo.
Then you must be right...

8. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

Thank you all for your help.

I know the structure in question (more than) is an idiomatic expression, but I tried to figure out how it all got started, ie, its etymology.

Code:
`The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has done more than (it has) tripled.`
I know none of you were willing to insert another verb, increased, I can understand that. I was not happy with it myself. I had come up first with 'has done' but did not go with it because we usually use 'do' after an actual verb is used in order to avoid repetition of the same word.

But now without any other plausible explanations, I will go back to it.
I suppose or hope that some day some reputable dictionaries will list 'more than double', more than triple', etc. as phrasal verbs.

Rod

9. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

Originally Posted by philo2009
Then you must be right...

Or both you and I are wrong.

10. ## Re: A question on a sentential structure

Originally Posted by driftwood
I have hard time explaining this sentence structure to my students.
Originally Posted by driftwood
I know the structure in question (more than) is an idiomatic expression, but I tried to figure out how it all got started, ie, its etymology.
If you meant the same thing with these sentences, you did not apply the English language correctly because they do not mean the same thing.

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