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Thread: More than

  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    More than

    More than twenty eggs are in the basket.

    Could you kindly tell me what parts of speech are "more" and "than" in the sentence? Are they both adverbs? Are they joined and function as a compound adverb? Thank you.
    Last edited by Luckysquirty; 16-Apr-2020 at 11:51. Reason: Misspelled words.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: More than

    Did you write that sentence yourself or take it from somewhere else? It uses an unusual word order.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: More than

    More is a determiner, I suppose.

    than seems to me to be a preposition (at least, preposition-like).

    Why are you asking these questions about parts of speech?

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    #4

    Re: More than

    They are confusing to me. Just trying to get a better grip on English grammar. :) In school, I sat in the back of the classroom and never raised my hand to ask a question. The teachers scolded me for not participating. Now, on grammar site, I ask questions about parts of speech and get questioned. It seems as if I'm back to square one. I'm just seeking to improve my understanding of the mechanics of a sentence. Thank you.
    Last edited by Luckysquirty; 16-Apr-2020 at 15:29. Reason: misspelling.

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    #5

    Re: More than

    Having been interested in language most of my life, I would hate to deter anyone, Luckysquirty. However, I feel that the categorisation of words into word classes/parts of speech is not particularly helpful if you are trying to understand the mechanics of a language. As I have mentioned elsewhere, there is no general agreement on how many parts of speech there are, or what they should be called. The categories of adverb, preposition, determiner, determinative and their various subdivisions are particularly messy.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #6

    Re: More than

    Quote Originally Posted by Luckysquirty View Post
    They are confusing to me. Just trying to get a better grip on English grammar. :) In school, I sat in the back of the classroom and never raised my hand to ask a question. The teachers scolded me for not participating. Now, on grammar site, I ask questions about parts of speech and get questioned. It seems as if I'm back to square one. I'm just seeking to improve my understanding of the mechanics of a sentence. Thank you.
    I didn't mean to deter you, Luckysquirty. It's just that the more we know about why someone asks the questions they do, the easier it is to give more useful answers.

    Personally, I don't know a great deal about grammar, (I'm much more interested in the meaning and use of language), but what I have learnt over the years is that trying to label individual words as belonging to a particular part of speech is a fruitless task. I'd strongly advise looking at the syntactics and semantics of the components of sentences instead. Don't think on the word level.

    (Just some friendly advice. )

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    #7

    Re: More than

    Personally, I don't know a great deal about grammar.

    Jutfrank, that's what I should be saying. (When it comes to grammar, you're my teacher.) I guess everything is relative.

    I have frequently been tempted to tell learners to copy me. (My posts tend to be fairly short with short, easy to understand sentences.) I don't think I have ever done that though.

    Native speakers tend to know grammar intuitively. We often don't know as many grammar terms as ESL learners do.
    Not a professional teacher

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    #8

    Re: More than

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Personally, I don't know a great deal about grammar.

    Jutfrank, that's what I should be saying. (When it comes to grammar, you're my teacher.) I guess everything is relative.
    An often conflicting element on this forum, I believe, is that ESL teachers have a very different way of looking at grammar from that of academic grammarians, who are not interested in teaching. You could make a rough distinction between 'practical' and 'theoretical' grammar, I suppose.

    Nearly everything that I know about grammar comes from my experience of teaching it to learners, and noticing what kind of explanations are most useful (even if that means not entirely accurate) with respect to ESL pedagogy. This is in contrast to our members PaulMatthews and Phaedrus, both of whom have studied it in its own right as an academic subject. I've learnt a great deal from them, and always look forward to their posts.

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    #9

    Re: More than

    Quote Originally Posted by Luckysquirty View Post
    I'm just seeking to improve my understanding of the mechanics of a sentence.

    NOT A TEACHER


    I commend you for wanting to parse sentences. It's a great pastime -- and educational, too.

    When you get extra time, you might want to look into the Reed-Kellogg diagramming system, which forces you to account for every single word in a sentence. A website entitled German - Latin - English.com will introduce you to it.

    An American poet named Gertrude Stein wrote: "I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."

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    #10

    Re: More than

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    . . . When you get extra time, you might want to look into the Reed-Kellogg diagramming system, which forces you to account for every single word in a sentence. A website entitled German - Latin - English.com will introduce you to it.

    An American poet named Gertrude Stein wrote: "I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
    Yes! Diagramming is the most useful way to understand sentences.

    Brainerd Kellogg invented diagramming because was frustrated teaching his students to memorize a lot of parts of speech. Knowing the parts of speech didn't help them see how sentences are built, so it was useless for teaching them how to write good sentences.

    It made grammar easier in the same way that the invention of the zero and the other nine digits made arithmetic easier than Roman numerals.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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