I am writing someting in MS word and it underlines what I wrote in green which means it sees grammar mistake but i can not see it. Please help

The sentence is:

The larger the area, the more water to be drained.

What is wrong with this? if it is wrong can you write the correct sentence?

  • Does this answer your question? Is a sentence always grammatically incorrect if it has no verb? though I'd start here, in this 'duplicate' that has the 'the bigger, the better' snowclone. Your example is a deleted form from an original with different constructions ('The larger the area is, the more water there is to be drained.'). I'd use 'The larger the area, the more the water to be drained'. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 10 at 16:34
  • 1
    No; actually, I'd stick with 'The larger the area is, the more water there is to be drained.' – Edwin Ashworth Feb 10 at 16:36
  • 7
    Nothing's wrong with it. Native speakers talk like that all the time. But it's not a sentence. Sentences have subjects and verbs as well as noun phrases, adjectives, and infinitives. @EdwinAshworth supplied the verbs (and dummy there) from the sentence that your non-sentence is shortened from. Put them back in and you're fine. – John Lawler Feb 10 at 16:57
  • 1
    What does MS Word say is wrong with that sentence? Word doesn't just apply green underlining and leave you to guess, it tells you what the (suspected) problem is. – nnnnnn Feb 10 at 22:13
  • 1
    Your construction is correct. It's a comparative correlative construction, and you can learn more than you'll probably ever want to know about it in The more the merrier. For formal writing, put verbs in: The larger the area [is], the more water to be drained [there is]. (or the more water [there is] to be drained). MS Word is probably also cranky about your passive infinitive to be drained vs. the active to drain. But you can ignore that. – Tinfoil Hat Feb 11 at 0:23

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.