Questions about grammaticality of comparisons

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34
votes
14answers
7k 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
18answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
474 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
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
806 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
293 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
389 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
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
2k 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
5answers
12k 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 ...
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
222 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
14k 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
165 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
3k views

Difference between “affiliated” and “associated”

What is the difference between being affiliated and being associated with a group of people?
4
votes
4answers
11k 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
176 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
1k 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
251 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
1answer
829 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
743 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 ...
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
274 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
262 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
150 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
6answers
174 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
623 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
2answers
289 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
2answers
122 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
113 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 > ...
1
vote
5answers
792 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
74 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
130 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
197 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
6answers
2k 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
93 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
5k 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
2answers
127 views

Relic and relics [closed]

Reliquary is a receptacle, often made of precious metal and richly decorated, in which a religious relic or relics are kept, as a small box, casket, or shrine. In this sentence that I copied from ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

What's the difference between perimeter and circumference? [closed]

What's the difference between perimeter and circumference when they mean the total length of the boundary of a two-dimensional geometric shape?
1
vote
2answers
82 views

How would you characterize the phrase 'a more perfect union'? [closed]

My question pertains to the usage of 'a more perfect union' in its original context-- the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. I want to say that this is a metaphor, because the authors are using the ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between direction and orientation?

I frequently see these two words in 3D programming. For example: the direction of the directional light the orientation of camera So, what’s the difference between them?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“He is better than _____.” (1) I (2) I am?

Which of the following constructions is / are correct? He is better than I. He is better than I am. PS: I'm unfamiliar with this site and its workings, so forgive me if my question fails to follow ...
1
vote
1answer
705 views

Comparisons: “so [adjective/adverb] as” or “as [adjective/adverb] as”

When learning how to make comparisons, students of English as a foreign language are first told to use the structure "as [adjective/adverb] as". However, at higher levels, they are told that both ...
1
vote
1answer
627 views

“as .. as” vs. “as much … as”

Using the expression as (much) ... as, I want to express that the quality or degree of someone's beauty is about the same as that of her intelligence. I'd like to know if it is correct to say either: ...
1
vote
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Which one is correct, 'I like this more' or 'I like this better'? [duplicate]

I feel that using 'I like this name more' is more correct than 'I like this name better'. Since English is not my mother tongue, I am not sure.
1
vote
0answers
204 views

Compare usage between punctuation variants [closed]

This got a bit lost in the excitement over my first question, (k+1)th or (k+1)st?, so I thought I'd spin it off into its own question. I'm not sure if this is too abstract to be appropriate for this ...
1
vote
0answers
3k views

Older than me (or I)? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: I can run faster than _. (1) him (2) he? Is it correct to say, "She's older than me" or "She's older than I?" I almost always hear people say the former (me). If I ...