Is the following grammatically correct?

Corporation X spends a larger percentage of its revenue on insurance than Corporation Y does on employee salaries.

Should it not be:

Corporation X spends a larger percentage of its revenue on insurance than the percentage that Corporation Y spends on insurance.

Doesn't there need to be parallelism here? How can you compare "does" with "spends a larger percentage of its revenue"? Or is that just the meaning of the word "does"?

  • Isn't there a parallelism error here comparing "does" and "spends"? – Jwan622 Nov 27 '13 at 16:22

Both sentences are grammatically correct, both convey exactly the same meaning, and do it without ambiguity. Both get across what I suspect will be a remarkable fact to the reader.

As someone who spent his career in accountancy, and this is entirely a matter of personal presentation, my own way of saying it would be:

'Expressed as a percentage of revenue, Corporation X spends more on insurance, than Corporation Y on employee salaries.'

In accountancy one thing with which you constantly battle is the avoidance of misunderstanding. Absolute clarity as to what you are saying is paramount. And here, I am supposing, that these may be two very different companies and possibly of vastly different sizes. And I also assume the purpose is to emphasise to all concerned the huge amount that X is spending on insurance. So you have to make it absolutely clear from the start that you are talking of 'percentage of revenue'and not absolute amounts of expenditure. So that is why I put it, clearly stated,at the start of the sentence.

But I repeat, there is nothing incorrect about either of your sentences.

  • Repetition of the verb, then, in the form of the pro-verb does, rather than making a verb-free comparison clause like "than Corporation Y on employee salaries", will improve comprehension by showing what the implied relation is between Corporation Y and employee salaries. – John Lawler Nov 26 '13 at 16:38
  • @JohnLawler I'm only saying how I would write it, and that is the format which feels best for me. – WS2 Nov 26 '13 at 20:45

@John Lawler I'm not asking if repeating the verb "does" is parallel with a non-verb comparison like "than Corporation Y on employee salaries". My question is this: Can you have a parallel structure if "spends" is being compared with "does"? Doesn't there need to be 2 instances of the word "spend"

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