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I came across the sentence below in a book:

Now more than ever, leaders need to know how to navigate the rough waters of today's business environment.

I am struggling to figure out what kind of phrase is 'Now more than ever' and need some help. Clarification: I am not looking for the meaning of the above phrase. I would like to know the type of the phrase itself like absolute phrase, participial phrase and so on. Also some explanation of why it is a particular type would be helpful.

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    Your editing changed the question completely. The three answers below were meant to your original question. – Centaurus Oct 14 '15 at 0:26
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    I had 'phrase type' in the title but probably should have been more clear. Sorry for the confusion. – user3885927 Oct 14 '15 at 0:31
  • @user3885927 This is actually two phrases. The phrase now is a temporal Adjunct (read Adverbial). It's a preposition phrase although in old-fashioned grammars it's often called an adverb when used like this. More than ever before is a bit more difficult. It's an Adjunct, but how to analyse what type of phrase exactly - I'm nor sure, sorry. – Araucaria Oct 14 '15 at 15:40
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    @Centaurus No, I don't think that's fair. None of the answers answered the original question, so the OP helpfully double underlined what the question was about so that it could not be ignored in favour of a question that hadn't been asked. "What kind of phrase is X?" doesn't mean "What does X mean?". It can only be answered like that if you assume the OP doesn't know what they're saying ... – Araucaria Oct 14 '15 at 15:42
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    @Centaurus Hmm the OQ was: phrase type - Now more than ever I came across the sentence below in a book: "Now more than ever, leaders need to know how to navigate the rough waters of today's business environment". I am struggling to figure out what kind of phrase is 'Now more than ever' and need some help. <--- It might possibly be asking about the meaning, but it doesn't really seem like that if read carefully. Anyhow, you gave a helpful answer for people interested in the meaning ... :) – Araucaria Oct 14 '15 at 15:54
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"Now"is an adverb of time in front position followed by an adverbial comparative phrase which means frequency. (According to Michael Swan Practical English Usage )

  • Wow! You answered the original question :) – Araucaria Oct 14 '15 at 15:36
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"Now more than ever" puts an emphasis on the present. In this example, perhaps thousands of years ago, there were no businesses. In the present, businesses have become increasingly important to society and therefore:

"Now more than ever" leaders need to learn to navigate the rough waters of a business environment.

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I think this must be easier for you: "At the present time, more than any time in the past, leaders need to learn to navigate the rough waters of a business environment."

  • Yes, that is a good paraphrase. – chasly from UK Oct 14 '15 at 0:28
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Now more than ever, leaders need to know how to navigate the rough waters.

This could be paraphrased:

Now (more than ever before) leaders need to know how to navigate the rough waters.

or this way

Now leaders need to know how to navigate the rough waters more than they ever did before.

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