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    #1

    There were more casualties than was/were reported?

    In the following sentence, "There were more casualties than was reported." Can I interpret it as "There were more casulties than the casualties that were reported"? Therefore, should this sentence be changed to "There were more casulties than were reported"?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: There were more casualties than was/were reported?

    Quote Originally Posted by chance22 View Post
    In the following sentence, "There were more casualties than was reported." Can I interpret it as "There were more casulties than the casualties that were reported"? Therefore, should this sentence be changed to "There were more casulties than were reported"?
    I would write it as "There were more casualties than had been reported".

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    #3

    Re: There were more casualties than was/were reported?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I would write it as "There were more casualties than had been reported".
    Thank you very much for the suggestion.
    Then if present tense is used here, should the sentence be changed to "There are more casualties than has been reported" or "There are more casualties than have been reported"? I'd like to know what the word "than" may refer to and how to decide whether a singular form or a plural form should be used in such kind of sentences.

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    #4

    Re: There were more casualties than was/were reported?

    I tend to think plural should be adopted because in most cases, the casualties happened previously can't be only one. But I'm not a native speaker. Would love to hear what native speakers suggest.

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    #5

    Re: There were more casualties than was/were reported?

    Quote Originally Posted by chance22 View Post
    Thank you very much for the suggestion.
    Then if present tense is used here, should the sentence be changed to "There are more casualties than has been reported" or "There are more casualties than have been reported"? I'd like to know what the word "than" may refer to and how to decide whether a singular form or a plural form should be used in such kind of sentences.
    Good question. Bhai's solution has the virtue of taking away the necessity to choose between a singular and plural verb - since 'had' is the form for all persons; but it introduces the past perfect where that might not be the most appropriate tense. As you point out, it evades the problem.
    I think you could justify both cases - as you imply, depending on whether "than" refers to the number of casualties or to "it" in "It was reported that there were X casualities."
    How about, "There were more casualties than reported." (This also evades the problem).

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