I happened to see the sentence below:

it's not as recent a problem as you might think.

I feel rather natural the next one:

it's not as a recent problem as you might think.

I want to know those english natives think which is more natural use.

  • I choose the first one. Do not change "as recent a problem" into "as a recent problem".
    – GEdgar
    Oct 22, 2018 at 14:04
  • 2
    Your first example is correct and perfectly natural. Your second example is ungrammatical.
    – BillJ
    Oct 22, 2018 at 14:43
  • Why did you use 3 sets of quote marks? (If you want to make a quote stand out, put it on its own line and add the ">" character at the start of the line. Make sure there's a blank line before and after the quoted text.)
    – Lawrence
    Oct 22, 2018 at 15:21

3 Answers 3


Both are clumsy, but there is no reason to use an article for 'recent' as it is an adjective.


The problem is not as recent as you might think.

It is not as recent as you might think


The first sentence is grammatically correct and easily readable.

It's not as recent a problem as you might think.

This is, of course, assuming you mean to state that the problem is older than the person you are talking to thinks it is.

The second sentence is not grammatically incorrect, exactly, but the first as would mean like or similar. It would basically be saying it's not similar to a recent problem, as you may think it is. You would be implying a different problem rather than the age of a single problem. Even for that it would be a clumsy sentence, but would be correct.

Unless you are going for a stylistic choice, it would be more clear to say:

The problem is older than you think it is.

  • 1
    Hi Jesse. Thanks for your suggestion. it sounds more correct and precise to what the original sentence means.
    – taka-t
    Oct 23, 2018 at 12:49

[1] It's not as recent a problem as you might think.

[2] * It's not as a recent problem as you might think.

In constructions like this, where there is an adjectival predeterminer, the adjective must appear before the indefinite article.

So [1] is fine (and perfectly natural), but [2] is ungrammatical.

  • Hi Bill. thanks for your perfect grammar explanation. I have to study it again :)
    – taka-t
    Oct 23, 2018 at 12:44

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