# Alternative for "as high as" for an academic text [duplicate]

I am writing a scientific paper that was sent to a language revision (proofreading) service. Unfortunately, the whole process runs via a web portal so that it is not possible for me the reply to the proofreader. For the sentence (simplified version)

A is ten times as high as B.

a revision was suggested:

A is ten times higher than B.

However in my opinion, the first sentence means `A = 10 x B`, whereas the second sentence means `A = 10 x B + B` (or `A - B = 10 x B`). Thus, the correct version would be:

A is nine times higher than B.

# Questions

• Is as high as appropriate for academic texts?
• If not, what is an alternative?
• (Am I wrong with my opinion described above?), edit: answered here

# Context

The sentence is from a paper on air pollution. `A` and `B` refer to concentrations of air pollutants at two distinct locations.

• With all due respect, yours is a basic English question. They BOTH mean: A= 10 x B. Both can be said. Two ways to say the same thing. Dunno where the nine comes in at all. The first way is better in your paper. Feb 2, 2017 at 19:16
• Could you give a bit more context? Why are you using the word "high" at all? If they're numbers/figures, it seems to me you could just say "A is ten times B". Feb 2, 2017 at 19:25
• I have no idea why your editor objects to the first; it's unambiguous and grammatically correct. The second is ambiguous, as noted in the question @EdwinAshworth links to. There's nothing wrong with saying "as high as" in academic writing. Feb 2, 2017 at 19:33
• Are you really talking about height or do you really mean larger?
– Jim
Feb 2, 2017 at 23:23
• @Lambie : `A = 10 x B` (first sentence, 10 times as high) => `A = 9 x B + B` <=> `A - B = 9 x B` (third sentence, 9 times higher). To clarify the latter: I want to buy new boots. Their prize in shop `a` is 100 EUR (=A) and in shop `b` is 10 EUR (=B). In shop a they cost 90 EUR more than in shop b. <=> In shop a the prize is 9 times the prize in shop b.. If we were writing 10 times it was 100 EUR difference, which is wrong. Feb 3, 2017 at 11:35

The editor is right to object to your phrase, or at least, I wouldn't use it in formal writing either. It might depend on the field but it just doesn't feel "right" to me. I don't, however, agree with the suggested alternative. I would instead suggest you write:

A is ten times the height of B.

That clearly and unambiguously means that the `height(A) = 10 x height(B)`. You haven't given any context here, but depending on what you want to say and what A and B are, you might also want to consider:

A is ten times B.

A is greater than B by a factor of 10.

• For parallelism, I would prefer "The height of A is ten times the height of B" (which I suppose could be reduced to "The height of A is ten times that of B"). Otherewise I agree with this. Feb 2, 2017 at 19:26
• @sumelic interesting. For some reason I don't much like The height of A is ten times the height of B (though I do prefer your shorter version). I admit that I am imagining this in the context of bar graphs where A and B are bars. Feb 2, 2017 at 19:28

Both A is ten times as high as B and A is ten times higher than B can be used. Although one may think that the latter means A is eleven times as high as B, it really means the same as the former.

I imagine that here A and B are walls with different heights, in which case you can write A's height is ten times B's to make things crystal clear. If they are numbers, you should just use A is ten times B.