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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    than to get your kids to do it

    Is this "than" a conjunction or a preposition? If it is a preposition, can it be followed by a to-infinitive as well? Usually, a preposition can have objects such as "noun", "gerund", and "pronoun".

    mo1-25
    ex)Nowadays almost everyone worries about children being busy doing this and that...
    I totally understand that it's sometimes easier to do the work yourself than to get your kids to do it. But it's worth the effort. Obviously, they can develop a sense of responsibility while doing house chores.

  2. Academic Writing's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: than to get your kids to do it

    That is a great question Keannu. It appears that there is a longstanding debate on this. Oxford English Dictionary has a nice description. Merriam-Webster discusses it a bit as well but I don't see it showing in the online version. I think Oxford's discussion is easier to follow though.

    Regardless of what we call "than," I would include "to" in "to get" to maintain parallel structure with the counterpart in the comparison ("to do"). Indeed, the sentence would seem incorrect without the "to" in "to get."
    SeriousScholar.com

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: than to get your kids to do it

    Thanks a lot for the link and your explanation! I have felt that both uses of conjunction and preposition of "than" is possible in so many cases, and the dictionary confirmed it.

    I think as prepositions can't have to-infinitive as an object, this sentence can be interpreted like this, so it's a conjunction.
    ex) it's sometimes easier to do the work yourself than (it is easy) to get your kids to do it.

    And 2 wouldn't be possible. What do you think of 2?
    1.Walking is eaiser than running(O)
    2. To walk is easier than to run(X)

  4. Academic Writing's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: than to get your kids to do it

    Both options are correct, although I do not hear the structure in the second option very often. One rather famous example comes to mind (a slightly different tense but it addresses your question nonetheless):

    'Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all.
    --Tennyson
    Last edited by Academic Writing; 03-Sep-2012 at 17:20.
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