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  1. enydia's Avatar

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    #1

    how to write the clause after as or than

    Hello, everyone.

    I find it hard to write the clause after than or as when referring a comparison.

    I found many examples, some of which are as follows:
    You spent more money than I had expected.
    Mrs White is not so young as she looks.
    He drank a little more than was good for him.

    I think these sentences are brief and easy to read, but after learning them, I am even more confused now. What on earth are the basic rules for organizing the clause after than or as?

    If convenient, please show me some detail explanation or search keywords.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. banderas's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hello, everyone.

    I find it hard to write the clause after than or as when referring a comparison.

    I found many examples, some of which are as follows:
    You spent more money than I had expected.
    Mrs White is not so young as she looks. Not "so younger as..."
    He drank a little more than was good for him.
    Can you see it now, Enydia?
    Try to comment on expressions in red. If still in doubt, let me know.

  3. enydia's Avatar

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    #3

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    Try to comment on expressions in red. If still in doubt, let me know.
    Hello, Banderas.

    I'm sorry that my poor English misled you much. In fact, my problem is not concerning the difference between as and than. Now I want to ask a more specific (I hop so) question.

    Tak the first sentence I quoted on #1 (you spent more money than I had expected) for example. I think some elements are omitted in this sentence and the no-ellipsis (is this word I invent right?) version is you spent more money than I had expected you spent.

    Similarly, I guess the no-ellipsis version of the third sentenct (he drank a little more than was good for him) is he drank a little more than drinking was good for himI feel this sentence is something odd.

    So, what is the rule for omitting the elements of the than-clause?

    Thank you in advance.

    Enydia

  4. banderas's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hello, Banderas.

    I'm sorry that my poor English misled you much.

    No, my fault, I did not read carefully enough...


    Tak the first sentence I quoted on #1 (you spent more money than I had expected) for example. I think some elements are omitted in this sentence and the no-ellipsis (is this word I invent right?) version is you spent more money than I had expected you spent.

    A: I expect you to spend 100/I expect (that) you will spend 100.
    B:OK.
    Two hours later.
    B:I spent 150.
    A: Oh, you spent more than I expected/ expected (that) you would spend.
    Focus in red is on "expect" whereas focus in green is on "expect someone will do something.

    Similarly, I guess the no-ellipsis version of the third sentenct (he drank a little more than was good for him) is he drank a little more than drinking was good for himI feel this sentence is something odd.

    A:Do not drink too much, ok?I it is not good for you to drink much (say, more than 2 bottles of beer).
    B: OK, I promise.
    Two hours later.
    A, speaking to C,: he(B) is not well. He drunk more than was good for him.

    So, what is the rule for omitting the elements of the than-clause?


    A rule I can think of now is that we should be consistent: it is not good>> than was good for him;
    I expect something >> than I expected.
    I expect you will do something >> than I expected you would (do something).
    I hope it makes sense to you.

    A common mistake made by non-native speakers of English is as follows:
    You are taller than I.
    It should be: you are taller than me or than I am.
    Regards
    Banderas

  5. enydia's Avatar

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    #5

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    Regards
    Banderas
    Thank you, Banderas.

    Referring to 'you are taller than I,' the following is from American Heritage Dictionary:
    Since the 18th centurygrammarians have insisted thatthan should be regarded as a conjunction in all its uses, so that a sentence such asBill is taller than Tom should be construed as an elliptical version of the sentence Bill is taller than Tom is. According to this view,the case of a pronoun followingthan is determined by whether the pronoun serves as the subject or object of the verb that is "understood." Thus, the standard rule requiresPat is taller than I (not me ) on the assumption that this sentence is elliptical forPat is taller than I am but allowsThe news surprised Pat more than me, since this sentence is taken as elliptical forThe news surprised Pat more than it surprised me. However,than is quite commonly treated as a preposition when followed by an isolated noun phrase, and as such occurs with a pronoun in the objective case:John is taller than me. Though this usage is still widely regarded as incorrect,it is predominant in speechand has reputable literary precedent.It is also consistent with the fact thatthan is clearly treated as a preposition in the than whom construction, as ina poet than whom (not than who ) no one has a dearer place in the hearts of his countrymen. Still, the writer who risks a sentence such asMary is taller than him in formal writing must be prepared to defend the usage against objections of critics who are unlikely to be dissuaded from their conviction that the usage is incorrect. Comparatives using as . . . as can be analyzed in a parallel way to those using than. Traditional grammarians insist thatI am not as tall as he is the only correct form, and though both literary precedent and syntactic arguments can be marshaled in support of the analysis of the secondas as a preposition (which would license I am not as tall as him ), one should treat this use ofas as a conjunction in formal writing.
    Hope this help.

    Enydia

  6. banderas's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post


    Here we go!
    Since the 18th centurygrammarians have insisted thatthan should be regarded as a conjunction in all its uses, so that a sentence such asBill is taller than Tom should be construed as an elliptical version of the sentence Bill is taller than Tom is.

    Yes, with names we can use an eliptical construction like Tom is the same age as George.

    Thus, the standard rule requires Pat is taller than I (not me ) on the assumption that this sentence is elliptical for Pat is taller than I am.
    Some grammarians disagree with this. One of them is Raymond Murphy, the author of "English Grammar In Use", Cambridge University Press. To be honest, I never heard any native speakers say "Someone is taler than I". It would be either "than I am" or "than me". By the way, the later one is really commonly used in speech.
    m
    Last edited by banderas; 13-May-2008 at 15:45.

  7. enydia's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    m
    Thank you for your reply and patience, Banderas.

    In addition to your point, I think the following ambiguity shold be noticed on some occasions.

    I love you more than her. You mean more tan you love her or more than she love me? (Michael Swan, Practiical English Usage, 2nd edition)

    Hope this help.

    Enydia

  8. enydia's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    Regards
    Banderas
    Thank you.

    I still have some questions about comparision. In fact, I am very ignorant of this sentence pattern.

    1.
    Take the following sentence for example again:
    He drank a little more than was good for him.

    In this sentence, is the word more a adverb or a pronoun? The second part of this sentence, than was good for him, seems a clause, but what is its subject?
    I guess that the word more is a pronoun in place of more wine, and the word than works as a pronoun in place of much wine and is the subject of the than-clause. In other words, the function of than is like the word which in he drank some wine which was good for him, isn't it?

    2
    Which of the following sentences is correct? Why?
    (1) He spoke much louder than it is enough for us to hear.
    (2) He spoke much louder than is enough for us to hear.

    3
    Which of the following sentences is correct? Why?
    (1) The more people come here, the more money we will earn.
    (2) The more people who come here, the more money we will earn.
    (3) The more people who will come here, the more money we will earn.

    4
    I saw this sentence in an article:I cannot persuade him any more than your persuade a pillar. I think the word your should be you, shouldn't it?

    Thanks in advance.

    Enydia
    Last edited by enydia; 14-May-2008 at 06:45.

  9. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    I'm really sorry to barge in.
    I'm also interested in this topic.
    I've had exactly the same quesition as you do.
    I'm not a native speaker of English, so please take it as my personal opinion.

    1.
    Take the following sentence for example again:
    He drank a little more than was good for him.

    In this sentence, is the word more a adverb or a pronoun? The second part of this sentence, than was good for him, seems a clause, but what is its subject?

    I think the antecedant of than-clause is "more," and "than" functions as the subject. However, I'm not sure whether "more" in this case is a "pronoun" or an "adverb".

    I guess that the word more is a pronoun in place of more wine, and the word
    than works as a pronoun in place of much wine and is the subject of the than-clause. In other words,

    I think so, too. I'm now refering to a grammar book,(written in Japanese) and it says "than" functions like a "relative pronoun."(It is called "疑似関係代名詞" in Japanese. I suppose you know what I mean.) The explanation on this topic is given in a vacillating manner (like "It could be interpreted as both "relative pronoun" and "conjunction".), so I guess there's no conclusion to this matter right now.

    the function of than is like the word which in he drank some wine which was good for him, isn't it?

    Yes, I believe so. And I think it's a matter of collocation.
    A native speaker of English might never say, "He drank a little more which was good for him."
    When there's "more", it always has an implication of, or rather, is reasonably? followed by "than~."

    2
    Which of the following sentences is correct? Why?
    (1) He spoke much louder than it is enough for us to hear.
    (2) He spoke much louder than is enough for us to hear.

    I'd say (2) is correct. I'm afraid I can't think of a good reason for it.

    3
    Which of the following sentences is correct? Why?
    (1) The more people come here, the more money we will earn.
    (2) The more people who come here, the more money we will earn.
    (3) The more people who will come here, the more money we will earn.

    I'd choose (1). I think it is the example of "inversion."
    (2) and (3) are not "inverted,???" which I'd assume are not grammatically correct.
    (They(the first half of those sentences ((2)&(3)) should be in the form of "full sentence" when "re-inverted"."(Do you see what I mean?) Well, "inversion" in the first half is impossible in those examples, though. )

    4
    I saw this sentence in an article:I cannot persuade him any more than your persuade a pillar. I think the word your should be you, shouldn't it?

    Yes, I think you're absolutely right.

    Please forgive me if my interpretation of the topic is not correct.
    I hope somebody in this forum can provide us with useful information.
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 14-May-2008 at 08:55.

  10. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #10

    Re: how to write the clause after as or than

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    I'm really sorry to barge in.
    I'm also interested in this topic.
    I've had exactly the same quesition as you do.
    I'm not a native speaker of English, so please take it as my personal opinion.
    [Welcome! It's a public forum where everyone can share their ideas, isn't it? In addition, I'm very glad to meet a Japanese teacher here.]

    1.
    Take the following sentence for example again:
    He drank a little more than was good for him.

    In this sentence, is the word more a adverb or a pronoun? The second part of this sentence, than was good for him, seems a clause, but what is its subject?

    I think the antecedant of than-clause is "more," and "than" functions as the subject. However, I'm not sure whether "more" in this case is a "pronoun" or an "adverb".

    I guess that the word more is a pronoun in place of more wine, and the word
    than works as a pronoun in place of much wine and is the subject of the than-clause. In other words,

    I think so, too. I'm now refering to a grammar book,(written in Japanese) and it says "than" functions like a "relative pronoun."(It is called "疑似関係代名詞"in Japanese. I suppose you know what I mean. ) [yeah, I see, very nice^_^]The explanation on this topic is given in a vacillating manner (like "It could be interpreted as both "relative pronoun" and "conjunction".), so I guess there's no conclusion to this matter right now.

    the function of than is like the word which in he drank some wine which was good for him, isn't it?

    Yes, I believe so. And I think it's a matter of collocation.
    A native speaker of English might never say, "He drank a little more which was good for him."
    When there's "more", it always has an implication of, or rather, is reasonably? followed by "than~."

    2
    Which of the following sentences is correct? Why?
    (1) He spoke much louder than it is enough for us to hear.
    (2) He spoke much louder than is enough for us to hear.

    I'd say (2) is correct. I'm afraid I can't think of a good reason for it.

    3
    Which of the following sentences is correct? Why?
    (1) The more people come here, the more money we will earn.
    (2) The more people who come here, the more money we will earn.
    (3) The more people who will come here, the more money we will earn.

    I'd choose (1). I think it is the example of "inversion."
    (2) and (3) are not "inverted,???" which I'd assume are not grammatically correct.
    (They(the first half of those sentences ((2)&(3)) should be in the form of "full sentence" when "re-inverted"."(Do you see what I mean? [I'm sorry I can't see]) Well, "inversion" in the first half is impossible in those examples, though. )
    [I invented these sentence after seeing this sentence: the more information that is available to you, the more satisfied you are likely to be.In fact, I am very ignorant of the usage of the sentence pattern "the more ..., the more ...." Can you give me some more information?]


    4
    I saw this sentence in an article:I cannot persuade him any more than your persuade a pillar. I think the word your should be you, shouldn't it?

    Yes, I think you're absolutely right.

    Please forgive me if my interpretation of the topic is not correct.
    [Under my impression, Japanese are always very very courteous, like you.]
    I hope somebody in this forum can provide us with useful information.
    Thank you for your reply.
    I'm a beginner, 先生にどうぞよろしくお願いしますもらいます:)
    Last edited by enydia; 14-May-2008 at 15:00.

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