For many years I’ve been using constructions of two interrelated clauses where each of the two verbs comes with a comparative adverb or adjective of some sort (so either with more or less, or else with the equivalent ‑er inflection if the adverb/adjective is short enough for that).
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about, with the comparative adverbs from both clauses rendered in bold:
- The more you eat, the fatter you get.
- The faster you go, the sooner you get there.
- The more I spoke, the less interested she became.
In all three of those examples, we have two verbs proportionally linked by each one’s progressive change. I think this is pretty standard English.
However, today I saw a sentence that did not use a comparative adverb in the first clause, only in the second, yet was surely still intended to convey proportional growth between the verbs in its two interrelated halves:
- The importance of interfaces increases the bigger your application becomes.
Where’s the comparative adverb/adjective in the first clause in that sentence that’s licensing comparative adjective in the second clause? Is this usage valid and is it common in English?
If so, I’ll like it even more because trying to fit all such sentences into a standard the more X, the more Y pattern can sometimes create weird sentences. For example, this one seems weird to me:
- The more scientists work on a solution, the more probably they will find one.