# [Grammar]Comparative structure

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#### LQZ

##### Member
Historically, some parents have chosen Russia for international adoptions because the wait for children, almost all in orphanages, tends to be much shorter than for countries like China, where it can be years.---taken from the NYT

Dear teacher,

I ran into the above while reading news at the New York Times.I am curious to know whether I can understand the original sentence like this way.

Historically, some parents have chosen Russia for international adoptions because the wait for children, almost all in orphanages, tends to be much shorter than wait for countries like China, where it can be years.

As you see, I put a "wait" in place because I think both "wait"s are comparative. Could you tell me if my understanding is right? Thanks.

LQZ

#### corum

##### Senior Member
Russia is being compared to certain other countries, which include China, in terms of the length of the waiting game.

almost all in orphanages -- all = :?: potential adoptees in Russia:?: or anywhere:?:
IMO not inferable from the text.

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
Dear teacher,

I ran into the above while reading news at the New York Times.I am curious to know whether I can understand the original sentence like this way.

As you see, I put a "wait" in place because I think both "wait"s are comparative. Could you tell me if my understanding is right? Thanks.

LQZ

In my opinion, the original sentence was badly worded anyway. This is frequently the case in newspapers where space is limited, leading to some less-than-perfect sentence construction.

The "wait" is for children, not for countries.

Historically, many people have chosen Russia....... because the wait for children there is much shorter than the wait in countries like China....

It is the wait for children, in different countries that is being discussed.

The following is also possible:

Historically, many people have chosen Russia.......because the wait for children there is much shorter than that in countries like China....

#### LQZ

##### Member
Thank you, corum.

But to me, the comparison is not countries, but wait(s) for children in different countries.

#### LQZ

##### Member
In my opinion, the original sentence was badly worded anyway. This is frequently the case in newspapers where space is limited, leading to some less-than-perfect sentence construction.

The "wait" is for children, not for countries.

Historically, many people have chosen Russia....... because the wait for children there is much shorter than the wait in countries like China....

It is the wait for children, in different countries that is being discussed.

The following is also possible:

Historically, many people have chosen Russia.......because the wait for children there is much shorter than that in countries like China....
Thanks emsr2d2.

What you said is what I was taught. But somehow while I ran into the original text taken from the NYT that is trusty, I was thoroughly confused.

Now, I've got it. Thanks again.

#### corum

##### Senior Member
Thank you, corum.

But to me, the comparison is not countries, but wait(s) for children in different countries.

What is the difference between these?

Comparing countries in terms of the length of wait for children.
vs.
Comparing the length of wait in different countries.

Is the difference substantial? I agree, the waits are being compared 'here' and 'there'.

The comparison is not drawn between these two prep. phrases: for children; for China.

#### billmcd

##### Key Member
In your original post I think you meant to say, "I think both waits are comparable (not comparative) and if so, you are correct.

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