Questions about grammaticality of comparisons

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44
votes
12answers
12k views

I can run faster than _____. (1) him (2) he?

Consider the sentence "I can run faster than 15 miles per hour." Its meaning is clear and to my eyes obviously grammatically correct. Now let me present some variations that have given me trouble for ...
26
votes
18answers
6k views

Was I driving more than 5 mph under the speed limit, or less than 5 mph under the speed limit?

Suppose I am driving 38 miles per hour in a 45 zone. This, of course, is seven miles per hour under the speed limit. Of course, I am driving this slowly because the road is wet, and safe driving ...
17
votes
2answers
34k views

“X times as many as” or “X times more than”

Suppose John has 5 sweets. Is there any difference between the following two sentences? Jack has 3 times as many sweets as John. Jack has 3 times more sweets than John. I prefer the first ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

“You know more about this than me/I” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: I can run faster than _. (1) him (2) he? Which is correct? You know more about this than me. You know more about this than I. The second sounds unnatural, but ...
8
votes
2answers
798 views

Why can we say “worth more than” but not “expensive more than”?

Why can we say: It is worth more than. . . . but not: It is expensive more than. . . . It’s the position of more which I find so confusing. Also, is worth an adjective in both these ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

“I so much as look” doesn't make any sense to me

There is a conversation in Californication season 5, ep. 9 where Tyler talks to Charlie and Charlie says: - I'd love to Tyler, but they watch me like a hawk here - I so much as look at a ...
8
votes
3answers
378 views

“A similar hat to Jane” vs “A hat similar to Jane’s”

Of late I have noticed British people using the following sort of construct: John and Jane make such a cute couple because John always wears a similar hat to Jane. To my ear, that is ...
7
votes
5answers
31k views

Which is higher — “hyper-”, “ultra-” or “super-”? [closed]

According to OED, hyper-: over, beyond, over much, above measure ultra-: beyond super-: over, above, higher than They all have the meaning "higher than", but what is the order of ...
7
votes
8answers
23k views

What's the verdict on “sooner than later”?

I have heard a lot of people say at work that we should do something "sooner than later." This grates against my native ear, but it seems fairly commonplace. I have always understood the expression to ...
7
votes
2answers
606 views

How to compare frequency of word use over time between British and American English?

Google Ngram viewer allows one to compare the frequencies of a set of phrases over time. It even allows you to restrict that comparison to an American corpus, or separately to an English one. What I ...
6
votes
4answers
330 views

the idiomatic use of “no more than” and “no less than”

I have questions about the use of no more than and no less than . The following is the item 14. phrase of the word more from COBUILD online dictionary. You use no more than or not more than when ...
6
votes
3answers
513 views

Word that indicates that “lower is better”, such as scoring in golf

Is there a word that could be used in an instance where you want to indicate that a lower number is better than a positive number? For instance, In golf, scores are _______. to indicate that a low ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Difference between “social” and “societal”

What's the difference between social and societal? Are they perfectly synonymous? If not, what is the difference in nuance? The relevant definition of social reads: relating to society or its ...
6
votes
1answer
235 views

Grammar rules for parellelism in comparisons and variations according to verb placement

I'm an academic editor in the field of medicine and I often come across complex comparisons. My question is specifically regarding how the placement of the verb affects the the parallelism of the ...
5
votes
3answers
639 views

What does “not as [adjective] as him” imply?

If it is written that X is not as tall as Y, it indicates that X and Y have unequal heights. But does this necessarily imply that X is shorter than Y?
5
votes
4answers
29k views

Which is correct: “So far as I know” or “As far as I know”?

Which is more appropriate: "So" or "As"?
5
votes
1answer
22k views

“so long as” vs. “as long as”

I just googled the difference between as long as and so long as. The difference has alredy been discussed here. There are, it seems, two contexts for these expressions: lengths and physical ...
5
votes
2answers
84 views

Number in time periods

Why do we say "10 minutes or less" rather than "10 minutes or fewer?"
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the difference between nauseous and nauseated?

I read an article about the difference between nauseous and nauseated: It seems the article at last indicate that both nauseous and nauseated can mean the state of wanting to vomit. Is that true? ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the difference between “wriggle room” and “wiggle room”?

The phrase "wriggle room" gives 2 million results on Google. "Wiggle room" gives 140 thousand, suggesting that both phrases are valid English. Google N-grams seems to back this theory up too. ...
5
votes
1answer
260 views

Can I use an explicit verb in a comparison clause?

It seems that I often write something like this: The sizes of these datasets seem to grow faster than the processing power of computers does. Now, a longish text I'd written was proofread (by a ...
4
votes
6answers
758 views

Can an adverb be a noun?

I have seen this post for the answer to my question, but this is not much help in case of the question I am going to ask. Here is an example sentence - The new design of Twitter profile is more ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

“The most distant ever visited by a spacecraft from Earth”

This is from the transcript of a podcast: Now, these pictures can be a bit messy. So scientists say they could use plenty of eyes to help scan the pics for things that move—the same way Tombaugh ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

When should you use “then” and when “than”?

As far as I know, then is used in a conjunction and in time-related sentences; than in all other cases. I believe that these are correct: Because I'm older than she, I should be the first chosen; I ...
4
votes
1answer
341 views

Scottish vs. scotch

I looked up the dictionary, and both gave me definitions that refer to a people from Scotland. Is there a difference between these two words?
4
votes
2answers
291 views

How to say this using catch-phrases: “Test A requires a lot of tissue samples, whereas test B doesn't.”?

I am about to prepare a talk that would compare two tests in the medical field. The old test requires 5 different sites of the organ to be sampled in order to have a result. The other test (which is ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

Difference between “affiliated” and “associated”

What is the difference between being affiliated and being associated with a group of people?
4
votes
3answers
25k views

What is the difference between “aged” and “age”?

I've seen a few ways of discussing the age of a person. For example: aged 11 age 11 As well as: college aged students college age students When should I use "age" and when ...
3
votes
3answers
810 views

“Me” versus “I”

He was almost as bad at English as me. He was almost as bad at English as I. The first one sounds better as-is, but not when you change the second one to He was almost as bad at English as I was. ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Difference in usage of terms “company” and “firm”

In a meaning of officially registered and bounded business unit. Like "Microsoft" or "Apple" or "ZARA" or copy shop round the corner. In some books on management/entrepreneurship authors use both ...
3
votes
2answers
575 views

Table VS counter?

What is the difference between counter and table, in the context of a surface that one might eat at (as in the kitchen counter or the kitchen table)?
3
votes
3answers
15k views

“Prefer to” vs “prefer than”

I am confused as to when to use "prefer to" and "prefer than". For example, we write: I prefer coffee to tea. So why can't we use than instead of to? Also, can someone give me an example of ...
3
votes
2answers
216 views

Listing of items in order of their effectiveness

In a research paper, how do I list things in order of their effectiveness? For example, The order of antagonistic effect of acetic acid against E. coli O157:H7 was salt > glycine > glucose > ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“as far as” vs. “so far as” vs. “in so far as”

Are these sentences the same? As far as I know, he's going to Chicago. So far as I know, he's going to Chicago. In so far as I know, he's going to Chicago. I think that they are the ...
3
votes
3answers
101 views

How to answer this “as … as” comparison?

With the question, "Is [noun1] as [adjective] as [noun2]?", should one answer in the negative or affirmative when [noun1] is more [adjective] than [noun2]? Example: Animal Top speed ======= ...
2
votes
4answers
99 views

X are equivalent to Y in Z

I'm pretty new to English StackExchange, and English is not my first language, so I'm not even sure what tags to look for. So, I apologize if this has been discussed before. I'm writing up a blog and ...
2
votes
3answers
564 views

When do you leave out the preposition in a relative clause?

A non-fiction titled "Do the Right Thing" published in 1998 has this sentence: (1) Am I treating this stranger with the same consideration that I would a friend? Another book (fiction) titled ...
2
votes
2answers
483 views

“Talk with” vs “talk live with”

What is the difference between talk with people and talk live with people? I think all kinds of talk is live. If so, why we would say talk live with people?
2
votes
7answers
7k views

What is the difference between a scenario and situation?

Based on a survey done globally I have been tasked with writing a help guide to cover scenarios and situations - for a cloud app I created. But I don't understand what the difference is between a ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

So long as they aren't answering [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “So long as” vs. “as long as” It is no problem so long as they aren't answering. I think that's not a correct phrase, but I can't find out how to correct it.
2
votes
4answers
106 views

“Looks more genuine than me/I writing”

In the following sentence, which is more appropriate — I or me, and why? Sending separate mails will look more genuine than me/I writing on behalf of everyone.
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Is this style of comparison grammatical?

I am inferring from the following paragraph that the number of people who volunteered in community service following 9/11 attacks was twice as many as those who did so before the event. However, I am ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is wrong with mixing “taller” and “tallest” like this?

Although the towers appear identical, the west tower is the tallest, standing 16 feet taller than the east tower. What might be wrong? Does it have to do with comparative and superlative degrees? ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the simile for dust? [closed]

What is the simile used when comparing to dust? And what does that comparison imply? Something similar to "as slick as a fox"
2
votes
2answers
904 views

As much as “you” or “you do”

I came across this sentence in a blog.. "You'll receive no more than 1-2 emails per week, as we hate spam just as much as you. " While I appreciate the sentiment, i can't help but wonder if they hate ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

What's the difference between “hundreds of thousands of” and “hundreds and thousands of”

What's the difference between "hundreds of thousands of" and "hundreds and thousands of"? Are they both correct?
2
votes
1answer
157 views

The connection between roosters and genitalia

It is a known fact that the same word (same spelling and pronunciation) is used to describe both a rooster and a part of male genitalia (I am not sure how vulgar it would be of me to use the word ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Any vs. ”any other“ and ”every“ vs. ”every other"

Can you please clarify what difference in meanings exists between the sentences in the following two pairs: Tom is taller than any boy present in the class. Tom is taller than any other ...
2
votes
2answers
785 views

Does “No more” by necessity imply there was some before?

If I say "I have no more apples" do I have to have had some apples to begin with? Is there an instance where I could start with none and still say I had no more sensically?
2
votes
1answer
286 views

“Refurbish” vs. “Furbish”

Question is as title says. Is there any difference between refurbish and furbish or for all intents and purposes are they synonyms? These are the 2 levels I would like to discuss: Differences on ...