# thick v. thickness

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#### hhtt21

##### Key Member
"Beneath the sandy soil there was a substratum of clay ten feet thick."

Is the above sentence a right one? Should not it be "Beneath the sandy soil there was a substratum of clay ten feet thickness."

Thank you.

#### andrewg927

##### Senior Member
Beneath the sandy soil there was a substratum of clay that is ten feet thick. Only thick is correct.

#### teechar

##### Moderator
Staff member
"Beneath the sandy soil, there was a substratum of clay, ten feet thick."

Is the above sentence right? [STRIKE]one?[/STRIKE]
Yes.

Should it not [STRIKE]it[/STRIKE] be "Beneath the sandy soil there was a substratum of clay ten feet thickness."
No.

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us
"Thickness" is a noun. The sentence requires an adjective.

#### hhtt21

##### Key Member
Isn't there any form in which we can use thickness instead of its adjectival form of thick?

Thank you.

#### hhtt21

##### Key Member
Beneath the sandy soil, there was a substratum of clay, ten feet thick."

Would you please explain how the speech version is for the above? "Beneath the sandy soil [pause], there was a substratum of cla [pause], ten feet thick.

Thank you.

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us
"Beneath the sandy soil there was a substratum of clay ten feet thick."

Isn't there any form in which we can use thickness instead of its adjectival form of thick?
You could say "Beneath the sandy soil was a substratum of clay, ten feet in thickness." In thickness uses three syllables to say what thick says in one, so the adjective wins for conciseness.

#### jutfrank

##### VIP Member
That's right. The comma represents a brief pause.

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us
Beneath the sandy soil, there was a substratum of clay, ten feet thick.
Would you please explain how the speech version is for the above? "Beneath the sandy soil [pause], there was a substratum of cla [pause], ten feet thick.
I would omit the first comma. In speech, there's a noticeable pause between "clay" and "ten".

#### hhtt21

##### Key Member
I would omit the first comma. In speech, there's a noticeable pause between "clay" and "ten".
Is the previous pause not noticeable, the pause between soil and there.

Thank you.

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us
Is the previous pause not noticeable, the pause between soil and there.
It's not that it's unnoticeable. There is no pause there, nor do I think there should be a comma.

#### hhtt21

##### Key Member
You could say "Beneath the sandy soil was a substratum of clay, ten feet in thickness." In thickness uses three syllables to say what thick says in one, so the adjective wins for conciseness.
Can we say "so the adjective wins for brevity", retaining the meaning of "for conciseness"?

Thank you.

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us
Can we say "so the adjective wins for brevity", retaining the meaning of "for conciseness"?

Yes. I think I like brevity better there.

#### hhtt21

##### Key Member
Yes. I think I like brevity better there.

Would you please explain what does "I like brevity better there." The phrase should be "like better." Does it mean you like something but you like something else more?

Thank you.

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us
Please don't tell a native English-speaker how to use English. The phrase should not be "like better." I would have written that if it were what I meant.

I wrote "I like brevity better there," not "I like brevity better there." I was responding to your post in which you quoted me using the word conciseness. I agreed that brevity was a good choice and went on to say I actually liked it better. I left out "... than conciseness", which the reader can infer from context.

#### andrewg927

##### Senior Member
hhtt21, the phrase should be "like A better than B" but you omit "than B" if that can be inferred from the context.

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us
You can say you like A better than B. If it's clear from context, you can omit ... than B.

#### hhtt21

##### Key Member
You can say you like A better than B. If it's clear from context, you can omit ... than B.

This phrase, "like A better than B" is very new to me but something makes me think that better seems to me more. Does "like A better than B"="like A more than B" here? Is there any pattern as "like A more than B"? Was that completely wrong?

Thank you.

#### hhtt21

##### Key Member
Please don't tell a native English-speaker how to use English. The phrase should not be "like better." I would have written that if it were what I meant.

I wrote "I like brevity better there," not "I like brevity better there." I was responding to your post in which you quoted me using the word conciseness. I agreed that brevity was a good choice and went on to say I actually liked it better. I left out "... than conciseness", which the reader can infer from context.

I am sorry if I am misunderstood. By should I tried to make a guess but it is clear that it was like an order. By phrase, I meant to say the part conveying the main idea. So is "like brevity" main idea in "I like brevity better there."?

Thank you.

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#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us
I am sorry if I am misunderstood. By should I tried to make a guess but it is clear that it was like an order.

Yes.

By phrase, I meant to say the part conveying the main idea. So is "like brevity" main idea in "I like brevity better there."

Again, I didn't write "I like brevity better there." I wrote "I like brevity better there." I could have used quotation marks instead of italics to mark "brevity" as a word I was discussing, not a grammatical part of the sentence itself. Had I done so, I would have written "I like 'brevity' better there."

The sentence means I like [the word] "brevity" better [than the word "conciseness"] there.

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