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    #1

    What is wrong with the sentence?

    I would rather see him work harder than (how) he does presently.

    Could someone please tell me what's wrong with the sentence? I just cannot figure it out. I don't think 'how' should be there.

    Many thanks.


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    #2

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    You are right how does not need to be there. Also look at the form of presently.

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    #3

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by grandada View Post
    You are right how does not need to be there. Also look at the form of presently.
    Are there any errors apart from the unnecessary 'how'?

    Many thanks.


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    #4

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    '.......... than he does at present.

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    #5

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    Hi grandada,

    Can you tell me the difference between at present and presently and why presently doesn't fit in here?


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    #6

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    Hi Daemon

    I will attempt to answer both parts of your question with one answer.

    'I would rather see him work harder than (how) he does presently.'

    The use of presently here sounds like we are waiting for some time in the future for him to work harder.

    'I would rather see him work harder than he does at present.'

    The use of 'at present' in this sentence wants the subject of the sentence to work harder than he does at this moment.

    I hope this helps

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    Hi grandada,

    Can you tell me the difference between at present and presently and why presently doesn't fit in here?
    The problem started life as a distinction between Br English ("at present") and Am English ("presently" ="now"); in Br Eng, until the late 20th century, "presently" was used to mean "in a little while, soon, but not immediately" - as in "I'm busy at the moment, but I'll come and help presently".

    Today it's not so simple. Because of the ubiquity of US TV and film, many Br English speakers use "presently" in the sense "now". Personally, I don't use the word at all, because it's almost bound to be misunderstood; this practice itself puts still more pressure on the Br English meaning, which I believe is on the decline.

    b

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    #8

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    You're right, Bob.

    The following is from Collins Cobuild, which is a BrE dictionary.

    If you say that something is presently happening, you mean that it is happening now.
    She is presently developing a number of projects...
    The island is presently uninhabited...
    = currently

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    This is all the more confounded by the fact that even the BE usage of "presently" for "right away" is a precious litote, a stylish metaphor for "soon." It's not really a difference of actual meaning, just the way in which it's used -- stylized or plainly. In my Humble Opinion. It comes from Fr. presentement, which is now no longer used so much, but means at present.

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    #10

    Re: What is wrong with the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I would rather see him work harder than (how) he does presently.

    Could someone please tell me what's wrong with the sentence? I just cannot figure it out. I don't think 'how' should be there.

    Many thanks.
    "presently" is not needed either. "he does" by itself means now.
    So we are left with 'I would rather see him work harder than he does.'

    But 'I would rather see him work harder than he does.' is a somewhat strange sentence. It's an odd mixture of 'I would rather he...' and 'I would like to see...'.

    'I would like him to worker harder than he does.' is a very natural sentence.

    But the sentence can be further shortened to 'I would like him to work harder.' The meaning of "than he does" is understood even without those words.

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