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    #1

    an older man

    1-She is dating an older man at the office.
    2-She is dating one of the older men at the office.

    Which of these mean:
    a-If we divide the men of the office into two groups according to age, the man she is dating would be in the older group
    which means:
    b-She is dating a man who is older than her (perhaps a lot older)

    If those are not the meanings, then what would the sentences mean.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: an older man

    1 b
    2 a
    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.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: an older man

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    1-She is dating an older man at the office.
    2-She is dating one of the older men at the office.

    Which of these mean:
    a-If we divide the men of the office into two groups according to age, the man she is dating would be in the older group
    which means:
    b-She is dating a man who is older than she is (perhaps a lot older).

    If those are not the meanings, then what would the sentences mean?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.
    Good question!

    Example 1 means choice b, that she's dating a man much older than she is.

    Example 2 is less clear, but probably means choice a, without any indication of her relative age. Is she one of the older or younger women? Are the women older or younger than the men? We don't know.

    PS -

    An interesting difference between British and American English is that Brits are more likely to say "older than she," while Americans are more likely to say "older than she is." "Than she" can sound snobbish to American ears.

    "Than her" is not grammatical, but it is common. You'll hear it a lot among English speakers. (At least among Americans. I can't speak for the British or other nationalities.)

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: an older man

    You'll hear "He's older than her" much more frequently than "He's older than she" in BrE. Some people will use "He's older than she is" but the "than her" version is much more prevalent.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: an older man

    "Than" is also a preposition so the object case of the pronoun (than her) is fine.

    The following is from www.m-w.com, which also provides this usage note:
    After 200 years of innocent if occasional use, the preposition than was called into question by 18th century grammarians. Some 200 years of elaborate reasoning have led to these present-day inconsistent conclusions: than whom is standard but clumsy <T. S. Eliot, than whom nobody could have been more insularly English — Anthony Burgess>; than me may be acceptable in speech <a man no mightier than thyself or me — Shakespeare> <why should a man be better than me because he's richer than me — William Faulkner, in a talk to students>; than followed by a third-person objective pronoun (her, him, them) is usually frowned upon. Surveyed opinion tends to agree with these conclusions. Our evidence shows that than is used as a conjunction more commonly than as a preposition, that than whom is chiefly limited to writing, and that me is more common after the preposition than the third-person objective pronouns. In short, you can use than either as a conjunction or as a preposition.

    2than

    preposition : when compared to


    : in comparison with <you are older than me>
    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.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: an older man

    "Than" as a preposition is still marked as a usage problem in American Heritage Dictionary. However, that usage is very common.

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