Before noon, they do more work than the average person does all day.

I'm unable to piece out whether this sentence is simple or complex. I believe it can be boiled down to 'They do more than he does' without changing the structure, but I'm still unsure as to the transitivity of 'do' and whether 'than he does' is a subordinate clause or part of some type of noun clause ('more than he does?') serving as an object for 'do.'

Any help would be appreciated!

  • 1
    What definitions of "simple" and "complex" are you using? These aren't always entirely consistently defined.
    – alphabet
    Commented Apr 10 at 17:34
  • ('simple' referring to a sentence consisting of one independent clause, and 'complex' to one composed of an independent and a subordinate clause, order independent) Commented Apr 10 at 17:53
  • Yes, it's simple, and both do and does equal perform/produce/accomplish. Commented Apr 10 at 17:58
  • @YosefBaskin Can you clarify what type of structure 'more than he does' is, then? Thank you! Commented Apr 10 at 18:19
  • You can junk "before noon" and "all day" to start with. They don't influence the structure.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 10 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


Using your reduced example for illustration . . . Your main (independent) clause is:

they do more than he does

It contains a subordinate clause:

than he does

This makes it a complex construction.

See ThoughtCo’s Comparative Clause in English Grammar.

  • I have a problem with this as "than he does" goes with "more than he does".
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 11 at 15:43

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