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    #1

    a grammar question

    Which is correct?

    Water was ---- cold ---- to make swimming quite impossible.

    A) as / as
    B) so / that
    C) so / as
    D) such / that
    E) such / as

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    #2

    Re: a grammar question

    I would say
    • C) so / as


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    #3

    Re: a grammar question

    Is "as / as" wrong? But I have noticed there are sentences used in that form. The example is from Google:

    - This idea was however attacked by the Italian anarchist militant Errico Malatesta, who went as far as to compare it to the discipline of the army.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: a grammar question

    Quote Originally Posted by curious
    Is "as / as" wrong?
    In that context, yes. Be + "as . . . as" expresses a comparison. In our example sentence, "was" is a form of the verb BE. With that kind of structure the pattern is noun Be noun / noun = noun, like this,

    [1] Water was as cold as ice.

    Both "Water" and "ice" are nouns. They are equated by "as . . . as",

    [2] Water = ice / Water is cold and ice is cold / Water is as cold as ice.

    Given our example sentence (below), the noun = noun pattern doesn't exist,

    [3] Water was as cold as to make swimming quite impossible.

    Rather, we've the structre, simple noun "Water" = absoulte noun phrase, "to make. . . ". They don't equate. They are not grammatically equal. That's why "as . . . as" doesn't work in that context.

    Given our additional example sentence, [4], the verb is not Be, it's "went" and, moreover, "as far as" doesn't express a comparison there. It expresses the extent to which the person went to compare it to the discipline of the army.

    [4] . . . who went as far as to compare it to the discipline of the army.


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    #5

    Re: a grammar question

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Given our additional example sentence, [4], the verb is not Be, it's "went" and, moreover, "as far as" doesn't express a comparison there. It expresses the extent to which the person went to compare it to the discipline of the army.
    [4] . . . who went as far as to compare it to the discipline of the army.
    then you accept as...as is not only used to compare / equate things/people. And I haven't said it is used in the sentence to express a comparison. What I have said is "as far as to compare" is similar to "so far as to compare". doesn't "as far as to compare" mean the same thing as "so far as to compare" in this sentence? Both mean "to the extent that". And I think the us of "as ...as" here in this very sentence is different from the one you explained. That is, noun = noun (to equate). Am I wrong? For example, can't we say: "The exam was so hard as to make my day terrible." or "She gave so evasive an answer as to make me furious". Can "as" be used in place of "so" in the sentences I wrote? I don't think "to be" plays a pivotal role in this, does it?
    Last edited by curious; 11-Mar-2006 at 16:35.

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: a grammar question

    Maybe it's my North American dialect, but both sentences sound awkward to me. Mind you, "so as" sounds a tad better, especially for [2], but both are still a tad awkward:

    [1] The exam was so hard [so] as to make my day terrible.
    [2] She gave so evasive an answer [so] as to make me furious.

    The problem could be the "so . . . [so] as" structure. Would you have more examples, ones without that string?

    Food For Thought
    They went as far as London <physical location>
    They went *so far as London <physical location, ungrammatical>.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 12-Mar-2006 at 14:26.

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