Please consider the examples:

1.) Schools should be more lenient when interviewing female applicants than when they are interviewing male applicants.

2.) We think more about ourselves than we do about others.

Can we omit the words in bold and still have a grammatical sentence?

  • 1. Schools should be more lenient when interviewing female applicants than male ones. 2. We think more about ourselves than about others. – MusicLovingIndianGirl Dec 21 '15 at 7:11
  • 2
    Yes, you can omit the bold words. As an aside, note that when performing that kind of ellipses, the grammar rules still apply. Thus, "He loves her more than (he loves) me" versus "He loves her more than I (love her)" -- when the parenthetical words are removed, the case of the pronoun has significant semantic implications. – Nonnal Dec 22 '15 at 21:31

The question is a matter of preference; how would you like to sound — formal or familiar(colloquial) and how would you regard the word "than", a preposition or conjunction. However, in the instant examples, since the suggestion is to retain nouns we can bypass case related issue.

Before answering the questions I would like cite a simple example to make the issue simpler.

  • He is better than me in English (informal use but common; than - a preposition)

  • He is better than I am in English ( formal as well as accepted; than - a conjunction)

  • He is better than I in English. (too
    formal to be accepted; 'than' - a conjunction)

If we regard THAN a preposition, both of them are correct and if a conjunction, phrasal or clausal structure is necessary.

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English permits us to elide (omit) any words that can reasonably be filled in by the listener, so long as the result doesn't become ambiguous with other possible expansions. 'We think more about X than [we do [[think] about]] Y.'

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