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We all know that tigers are found only in Asia and not in Africa. So is it correct to say that tigers are "more common" in Asia than Africa?

  • If tigers are not found in Africa, then they are not common in Africa at all. So it's inappropriate to say that they are more common in Asia than in Africa. Asia has tigers, and Africa does not. – Isabel Archer Jul 8 at 2:35
  • This answer to a similar question answers this one as well. – jsw29 Jul 14 at 1:30
  • -jsw29 I read your answer to a similar question , I understood the difference between semantics and pragmatics , but can we use these types of constructions in everyday conversations , or , will it be wrong to do so ? A highly qualified GMAT verbal expert said that these kind of constructions are fine(read 'acceptable'). – user342711 Jul 14 at 4:45
  • Also , does infelicitous means 'wrong' or 'inappropriate' , meaning that something , even if it is 'infelicitous' can still be used ? – user342711 Jul 14 at 4:47
  • -jsw29 , whether pragmatics or semantics dictate whether what we are trying to convey is correct or not . As , a thing might be semantically correct , but pragmatically wrong , or vice versa .For eg- suppose a sentence is semantically(logically) correct but pragmatically odd , can we still use that sentence.? – user342711 Jul 14 at 4:54
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If something is common, it is found in large numbers or it happens often.

Since tigers are not found at all in Africa, it is erroneous to say that tigers are "more common" in Asia than Africa.

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  • Something can be more common than something else, without being common, just as something can be larger than something else without being large (rats are larger than mice, but neither are large animals). – jsw29 Jul 14 at 15:32
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If you used 'more common', I would take it to mean that tigers occur with greater frequency in Asia than Africa, but that they do also exist in Africa in some capacity. The 'more' in 'more common' is the difference between the two things being compared - more completely I would understand the sentence as:

While tigers are common in Africa, they are more common in Asia

Since tigers don't live naturally in Africa (it wouldn't surprise me if some where there as pets), 'more common' is probably not the correct phrasing. Generally people would understand your point, in fact many probably incorrectly assume that tigers do exist in Africa anyway, but I would avoid using that phrasing.

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