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To highlight our company's benefits we write short statements like "3 times less rate" or "3 times lower rate". Are these correct? Or do such forms require comparison to something else—for instance, "lower than standard rate"?

Similarly, if we use the phrase "[a competitor] spends n dollars, we spend half as much", can we end on "half as much" without appending a second "as" phrase?

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It would help if we could see the entire sentences, and preferably one or two from each side. –  Barrie England Sep 6 '12 at 10:50
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Good day, Cindy. May I suggest that you are more likely to receive a useful answer if you a) tidy up your syntax, orthography, and punctuation, and b) indicate what efforts you have made to answer your questions from the usual reference works, and what ambiguities or uncertainties remain? I'll take a stab at a) for you, but the community will probably want your own report respecting b). –  StoneyB Sep 6 '12 at 10:54
    
The title of your question and the body do not seem to ask quite the same thing. You may want to edit to clarify. –  Kris Sep 6 '12 at 11:15
    
Good day, StoneyB, I am thankful to you for correcting my question. It obviously looks much better now :-) –  Cindy Sep 6 '12 at 11:24
    
@StoneyB The edit is what caused the confusion -- OP's original seems to be right. –  Kris Sep 6 '12 at 11:24
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2 Answers

Kris answered the first half. Let me answer your final question. "Company X charges $1000, we charge half as much!" is fine. The obvious meaning in context is that you charge half as much as Company X. You could say, "we charge half as much as Company X" or "we charge half as much as they do", but it's not necessary. If you mentioned several other charges before so that it could be ambiguous, then you might need to clarify. Like, "The average charge is $100. Company X boasts that they charge only $80. But we charge half as much!" Now it's not clear if you mean half of $100 or half of $80.

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"3 times less rate" or " 3 times lower rate"
is to be avoided in any case. Remember, times implies multiplication, not division. It should not be used in cases of reduction. It seems to be so common (?mistake) these days that people have almost accepted it and presume to be correct.

half as much is a different matter and is fine, with the as, which cannot be omitted, because that could mean half-a-dollar, not half of n.

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Good day, Kris. Thank you for your answer. Could you advice me then how "3 times less rate" or " 3 times lower rate" should be paraphrased if we talk about reduction? –  Cindy Sep 6 '12 at 11:26
    
And may I clarify. Do you mean I should always add "as" phrase after "half as much"? for example "half as much as a competitor do" –  Cindy Sep 6 '12 at 11:30
    
If you so intend, you could say a third of the rate. In a situation where there is any comparison (obvious here), you will need the as phrase. The sentence structure is such here. Other instances are possible where the phrase can be safely omitted. –  Kris Sep 6 '12 at 11:56
    
Thank you very much! Could you kindly give me some examples of instances where such phrase you say can be omitted? –  Cindy Sep 6 '12 at 12:56
    
+1 for your objection to "3 times less" –  bib Sep 6 '12 at 14:30
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