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    #1

    When to use "they were" and "those"?

    When to use "they were" and "those"? Please see below:

    1) Today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than they were at any time in their production history.

    2) Today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than those at any time in production history.

    My guess is that "they were" and "those" each refers to different object in the sentence, but I cannot figure it out.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

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    #2

    Re: When to use "they were" and "those"?

    Quote Originally Posted by kim View Post
    when to use "they were" and "those"? Please see below:
    welcome!

    1) today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient than they were at any other time.

    2) today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient than those of any other time. (some may use "at" but i think "of" is better)

    my guess is that "they were" and "those" each refers to a different object in the sentence, but i cannot figure it out. no, they both refer to "small cars".

    thanks in advance for your help.
    2006


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    #3

    Re: When to use "they were" and "those"?

    When to use "they were" and "those"? Please see below:

    The difference is subtle.
    Look at these sentences:
    1.These apples are sweeter now than they were
    and
    2.These apples are sweeter than those.

    Can you see that in (1), the emphasis is 'now' versus the past ('were')
    In (2), the emphasis is on comparing one lot of apples with another.

    Hence, in your sentences:
    1) Today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than they were at any other time in their production history.
    The emphasis is on the comparison in terms of time, and the change over time.
    Note that you must include 'other'. You can't say 'these apples are sweeter than any apples in the world' unless you are on the moon, since the apples you think are sweeter are also 'in the world'.
    I think 'at' is the appropriate preposition. One can say, 'a child of his times', where 'times' is very general; but we are talking here about 'production history' and the different times over that 'history' (e,g, new models of car each year), and comparing at each of those times within that production history.

    2) Today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than those at any other time in production history.
    The emphasis, the perspective, is more in comparing fuel-efficiency of small cars. The means of comparison is then in terms of the history of production.

    Honestly, though, no one is going to notice which you use. A surprisingly lot of people seem to just take the gist of what you are saying without really giving it a great deal of thought!
    At times, it can be fascinating listening to two adults supposedly having a deep discussion!
    Last edited by David L.; 24-Mar-2009 at 05:16.

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    #4

    Re: When to use "they were" and "those"?

    [quote=kim;456289]When to use "they were" and "those"? Please see below:

    1) Today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than they were at any time in their production history.

    2) Today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than those at any time in production history.

    My guess is that "they were" and "those" each refers to different object in the sentence, but I cannot figure it out.

    "they were" in the first sentence referes to the companies while "those" in the second sentence referes to the cars

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    #5

    Re: When to use "they were" and "those"?

    [quote=nuharani;456367]
    Quote Originally Posted by kim View Post
    When to use "they were" and "those"? Please see below:

    1) Today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than they were at any time in their production history.


    "they were" in the first sentence referes to the companies
    No, "they were" refers to cars. "small cars more fuel-efficient now than they were"


    "they were" would refer to companies in a sentence like the following.


    Today's technology allows companies to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than they were able to make them at any other time...
    2006

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