1

I read a sentence below.

Discussions with the delegate are going better than planned.

I was just wondering why is just "planned" put in the sentence without noun?
What words were omitted here?
(I'm not sure which is correct between "than (it is) planned" and "than planned (one)")

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The omitted words could be "they were" or "I," for example, but we would need to know the context, to be sure. You can omit those words if the meaning of the sentence remains clear.

The discussions with the delegate are going better than (they were) planned.

or

The discussions with the delegate are going better than (I, we...) planned.

It sounds awkward if you say:

Discussions with the delegate are going better than the planned one.

...because this would mean that someone had a discussion as planned, which didn't go well, and then other discussions, which went better...which is unlikely.

You use "the" before discussions, because it is known these discussions are the ones they were planned.

  • There could also be more "missing words" tacked on the end: than they were planned to go. – Jim May 11 at 16:37
  • Yes, true. I added few more. I believe the OP's main concern was why the words can be omitted. – Jan May 11 at 16:47
  • The discussions with the delegate are going better than (they were) planned. is not very grammatical. we planned etc, yes. – Lambie May 11 at 17:21
  • "they were planned" sounds right to me - it's passive voice in the past. The words are not necessary, so they are omitted. I'm not saying anyone should add them, but just to explain what's the reasoning behind omitting them. – Jan May 11 at 17:44
1

There is nothing really missing in the sample sentence:

Discussions with the delegate are going better than planned.

In comparatives like this, if the verb can be matched to an existing way of expressing something, you needn't use a pronoun and verb.

The pattern works like this (these are just examples).

The man is richer than expected.

One can expect someone to be rich.

The discussion is going better than planned.

One can plan a discussion.

The car was bigger than expected. [same as above]

The comic book was funnier than imagined.

One can imagine something

If a verb phrase is underlying the sentence, you needn't supply a pronoun and verb. That said, all of them can take a pronoun or name plus a verb.

The dog was fatter than [I] expected. The comic book was funnier than [we] imagined.

Also, the tenses can change too if you use a verb phrase in these comparatives.

  • The dog was fatter than we had imagined.
  • The dog was fatter than we would have imagined.
  • The dog was fatter than we imagined.
0

It could be many different things, all of them grammatical:

than [ (had been / could have been) ] planned
than [ (they / he / she / anyone) (had / could have) ] planned

As you can see, any number of pronouns would work. As would, depending on the pronoun, had, could have, had been or could have been.

It doesn't really matter, because you don't need any of them in order to understand the sentence. And which specific words might have been omitted could also be a matter of style rather than syntactic necessity.

However, the specific context of the passage—not just the sentence—could at least help determine which pronouns were more likely to have been omitted.

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