Questions about grammaticality of comparisons

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37
votes
13answers
8k 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 ...
25
votes
19answers
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
18k 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
2k 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
552 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
965 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
312 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
1answer
433 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
8answers
10k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
419 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
1answer
112 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
5answers
17k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k 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. And ...
4
votes
6answers
588 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
231 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
1answer
248 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
3answers
17k views

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

Which is more appropriate: "So" or "As"?
4
votes
2answers
214 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
5k views

Difference between “affiliated” and “associated”

What is the difference between being affiliated and being associated with a group of people?
4
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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
326 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
2answers
1k 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
2answers
138 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 > ...
2
votes
4answers
93 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
2answers
324 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
1k 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
156 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
79 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
2answers
137 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
155 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
369 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
695 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
60 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
459 views

“As [adjective] as a [noun]” vs “as [adjective] a [noun] as there”

How does the meaning differ for the following two sentences? Even then, the subject seemed as fascinating a problem as there could be. Even then, the subject seemed as fascinating as a ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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? ...
2
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

“Can I do X” vs. “Can't I do X”

Consider this scenarios: A: Can I do X? A: Can't I do X? In both the cases, the B replies with "Yes" to indicate A can do X and with "No" to indicate he cannot. The 1st one seems to ask for ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

As fast as Or As fast

He is as clever if not cleverer than his brother. Ranjeet is as fast as or perhaps faster than Rohit. Are both these sentences correct? As per Wren And Martin High School English Grammar ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Is using “too” correct in “As X, so too Y”? [closed]

Is the usage of "too" correct in this sentence? As the systems we simulate become increasingly complex, so too does the task of validation.
1
vote
5answers
943 views

Idiom to say something beats something else greatly in a rivalry situation

Say for example we are comparing the hotness of weather of two countries or cities. They are both hot, but one beats another one to a great extent. Lets say we are comparing Dubai to Death Valley. How ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

Is it correct to say: too homogeneous?

This is the context: "I missed the diversity of church, it felt rather like a French-only church, or an under-21’s church may feel like—too homogeneous." I want to use the word homogeneousitic, but I ...
1
vote
2answers
174 views

How to say two dates are the same?

I have a prompt that allows the user to input a date used to generate a report. The date is used to find records. date is on MM/DD/YY date is before MM/DD/YY date is after MM/DD/YY date is between ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

Why is “not as … as” preferred to “not cheaper than”?

In the rephrasing exercise A is more expensive than B. > A is not _________ B. The only correct answer is supposed to be "A is not as cheap as B". However, a student suggested "A is not cheaper ...
1
vote
1answer
10k 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
3k views

Difference between “Better than” and “More than”

Is it always possible to use "better than" and "more than" interchangeably? Many users prefer the look and feel of A better than B. Many users prefer the look and feel of A more than B. Edit: ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

An analogy to describe an individual who merges traits he finds from others in order to develop his own identity? [closed]

I am writing a research paper in which my thesis concerns how a character matures through his merging of characteristic traits in his relationships with other characters. How can I introduce this ...