The question was to transform this sentence from positive to comparative degree: She is not so young as I expected. Following the solutions of other sentences of this kind (the photo shows a similar kind of problem from where I adopted the solution) it can be written that: She is not younger than my expectation. I want to know why ...I expected has been changed to ...my expectation. What is the grammatical rule here? I don't get it what's wrong with ...I expected ? Is it wrong not to use possessive pronoun?

The sentence transformation is from the past exam question of my student which she couldn't solve. I am her private tutor and want to teach her the correct things. Please don't misunderstand it as a homework.

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    Your inability to help your student is based on the fact that there are various problems with the task as you outline it and with the solution. And there is nothing wrong with ...I expected. It would be helpful if you included the exact wording of the exam question and its solution.
    – Shoe
    Jul 16 at 7:28
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    The answer provided is completely unidiomatic. The answer I would have given is "She is older than I expected". Jul 16 at 7:36
  • There's nothing wrong with it. In "She is not so young as [I expected]", the bracketed element is a comparative clause. Your second example is not at all natural.
    – BillJ
    Jul 16 at 7:43
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    It seems to me that the only reasonable answer to this exam problem can be "She is older than I expected; as @KateBunting points out, "than I expected" is completely idiomatic, while "than my expectation" is not. And "older" is grammatically a comparative, while "not so young" is only implicitly a comparative. What happened? Maybe the teacher got the list of exam questions from somewhere and supplied their own (incorrect) answers. Jul 16 at 11:51
  • 'Transformation' implies a neatly available transform. 'This car is old' → 'This car is older'. If meaning also has to be preserved (in the 'transformed' sentence), the exercise, as Kate suggests, becomes of dubious merit. 'This car is older than cars one would not label "old" '? If alternative lexemes are allowed (which as Kate says would be the natural way to proceed in real life), the question as above needs to make this clear. The answer provided is unacceptable (1) because it sounds outlandish and (2) because it allows 'she is as young as I expected', unlike the original. Jul 16 at 13:20


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