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  1. moonlike's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Mar 2012
    • Posts: 463

    less a product than a style of eating

    I'm back again. Hope everything is going well with all. I came across the following sentence and wonder if could help me with it.
    " What McDonald's sold was, famously, less a product than a style of eating: efficient, quick and one size for the whole family."
    I checked 'less than' which means 'at all'. Here I guess it means hamburger (the text revolves around burgers) is just a product not a style of eating. Am I right?
    Thanks a lot.
    Being a non-native teacher, I'm so thrilled being in such a superb forum.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218

    Re: less a product than a style of eating

    Sort of.

    It's less X than Y means that it's true that X exists, but what is important (or what is noticed first, or what is primary in function, etc.) is Y.

    Yes, they sold hamburgers, but the products was not as important as the fact that it was quick and the whole family could get something efficiently.
    Mrs. Smith was less a teacher than a friendly face the children could trust. -- She was a teacher, and maybe even a great teacher, but it was more important that she was a safe person for her students to talk to.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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