thick v. thickness

hhtt21

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"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."

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andrewg927

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

teechar

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"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

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"Thickness" is a noun. The sentence requires an adjective.
 

hhtt21

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

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hhtt21

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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.

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GoesStation

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"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

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That's right. The comma represents a brief pause.
 

GoesStation

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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

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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.

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GoesStation

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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

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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"?

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GoesStation

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Can we say "so the adjective wins for brevity", retaining the meaning of "for conciseness"?

Yes. I think I like brevity better there.
 

hhtt21

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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?

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GoesStation

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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

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

GoesStation

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

hhtt21

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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?

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hhtt21

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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

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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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