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I was watching TV series "Prison Break" and in the first episode I came across this kind of strange to me sentence.

HALE: We're all clear on the Burrows execution.


HALE: Except for one thing. Bishop McMorrow is not in the fold.

HALE: He's got a lot of influence with the Governor. They went to prep school together apparently.

HALE: Look, the closer it gets, the more I'm worried that the bottom is gonna fall out of this whole thing.

KELLERMAN: Well, maybe it's time we arranged a visit with the good bishop then.

KELLERMAN: Look, in one month it'll all be over.

I don't get why there has been used a definite article. I learned that articles always come before nouns. In this situation "more" doesn't seem to be a noun, I would say it's an adverb. Maybe I'm missing something, any suggestions ?

marked as duplicate by Mitch, Kris, Scott, jimm101, Peter K. Jun 15 '18 at 16:29

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    I will note that it's quite idiomatic. – Hot Licks Jun 13 '18 at 11:31
  • This is a pattern you learn in intermediate English class. See quora.com/… – Mitch Jun 13 '18 at 11:45
  • The point here is that you learned articles always come before nouns… which doesn’t mean articles can’t be used before anything else. Can you find three or four phrase books - perhaps even dictionaries - that don’t explain “the closer… the more” in particular, let alone “the this… the that” in general? Does it make any difference to know that the phrase means “as the thing I’m worried about gets closer, I become more worried”? – Robbie Goodwin Jun 13 '18 at 23:12
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    ‘‘The (comparative), the (comparative) ’’ is a common structure: for example, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”. – Scott Jun 15 '18 at 2:32

Found this at http://www.grammar-quizzes.com/themore.html

“We use a reduced clause in each part of a The more…, the … expression. The correlative comparative is a paired construction. Each part is syntactically alike. A comma separates the two clauses.”

Examples: “The more the building shook, the more we held on.”

“The louder it became, the more we saw things falling down.”

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