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Is this sentence correct? — "The combat of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is more like that of Sekiro than that of Dark Souls."

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  • I think I would omit the second "that", as superfluous. "His voice is more like that of John, than (that) of Andrew".
    – WS2
    Nov 16 '19 at 10:52
  • You could "delete" the entire second instance of that of, or just delete that. Come to that, you could delete both words in the first instance with no loss of clarity (and I'm sure that in most conversational contexts, most speakers would do just that). Nov 16 '19 at 15:26
  • @WS2 Thank you. Nov 17 '19 at 3:30
  • @FumbleFingers Thank you. Nov 17 '19 at 3:30
  • @FumbleFingers Yes, informally I might say "His voice is more John than Andrew". But writing an essay I feel I would have to say "The crop yields in the fourth decade of the eighteenth century were more like those of the second than of the third". (An entirely hypothetical fact, incidentally.)
    – WS2
    Nov 17 '19 at 7:38
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If you are writing about 3 separate stories, (I'm guessing) may I offer, "The Combat of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order", is more like "Sekiro" than "Dark Souls". No extra words and, your opinion is clearly communicated.

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  • Thank you AdvenJack. Nov 17 '19 at 3:31
  • You are most welcome friend! :-)
    – AdvenJack
    Nov 17 '19 at 4:28
  • Not being a Star Wars aficionado, I am slightly puzzled by the original sentence - which is why I didn't use it in my comment. It seemed to me that the first phrase, before the colon was a kind of title, or rubric of which "Fallen Order" and "Dark Souls" were instances. If that is the case I am not sure your suggestion holds.
    – WS2
    Nov 17 '19 at 7:44
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Yes, it's acceptable and correct. Examples from Google Books search:

In the vast bibliography of the Spanish Civil War, religion has been, and still is, treated as though its role in the tragedy had been more like that of a chorus than that of any of the leading characters.
Gunpowder and Incense: The Catholic Church and the Spanish Civil War, 2007

When caries susceptibility of the two parents is dissimilar, however, the children's susceptibility tends to be more like that of the mother than that of the father.
McDonald and Avery Dentistry for the Child and Adolescent, 2010

... the annual rainfall found in the Negev Mountains and recent terra rossa soil in Zefat and Gilboa areas led La'or (1992H) to estimate that the annual rainfall in the Negev Mountains was more like that of Zefat (700-800 mm) than that of Mt. Gilboa (450-500 mm).
The Climate of Israel: Observation, Research and Application, 2012

The organ of voice, a most valuable criterion of species throughout this numerous family, was in its form much more like that of Anas Boschas than that of Anas moschata...
Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Zoology of London, 1832

... the provisioning economy of the après-libération looked more like that of 1738 than that of 1938 in terms of its vulnerability to the weather and the seasons...
The Expectation of Justice: France, 1944-1946, 1999

... when the commonly accepted wisdom is that the health of such groups tends to become more like that of the host community than that of the people they left behind.
Researching Cultural Differences in Health, 2002

Your own search will turn up many more instances.

"That" here can be described as being used as a demonstrative pronoun. I guess the take-home message from this is that "that" is functioning as a pronoun where "the combat" could be repeated, but isn't, which is the function of a pronoun (it saves you from explicitly repeating the same referent/antecedent.

The combat of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is more like [that] the combat of Sekiro than [that] the combat of Dark Souls."

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  • Thank you. What about if I rephrase it in this way? — "The combat of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is more like that of Sekiro than it is like that of Dark Souls." Is using "it is like" incorrect or redundant/unnecessary? Nov 16 '19 at 10:14
  • @semantically.kaput The original is shorter and clearer. There's no need to repeat "it is like" (the subject "combat" is clear and can be omitted (ellipsis). I can understand you wanting to include it for precision, but this type of structure is very common (idiomatic). Of course the version in your comment would be acceptable too, though I think it's rather unnecessary and would actually harm its readability a little. That's my opinion.
    – Zebrafish
    Nov 16 '19 at 10:48
  • That's what I was thinking. Thank you. Nov 16 '19 at 11:25
  • This is a good answer answer - hence my upvote. But I would argue, that even in formal essay writing the second "that" is usually superfluous, and in almost all the sentences you quote from Google books, the grammaticality would not be lost by its exclusion. But for some odd reason, which I can't explain, I feel the second "that" has to be retained in the first example about the Spanish Civil War.
    – WS2
    Nov 17 '19 at 8:01
  • Just read it again - perhaps it is not needed! No I think we can safely exclude the second "that" in all of them.
    – WS2
    Nov 17 '19 at 8:03

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