On dailymail.co.uk there is a news article titled "Can love survive when a woman earns MORE than a man?" Obviously, I don't want to spend my time asking silly questions, but the journalist confuses me when she writes both "...nearly half of women are paid as much as or more than their man" and "It means that almost half of us now earn as much or more than our husbands and partners."

So, I am wondering if (or when) as should appear in the phrase "as much [as] or more than."


It should be as much as in both cases and I can only think the sub-editor simply didn’t notice the omission in the second sentence. The first sentence, incidentally, illustrates a problem of agreement with the use of their man. The point is debatable, but is easily resolved by the use of the plural their men.

  • "as much or more than" returns 12m results on Google. The corresponding nGram shows the phase has existed all along, and even thriving well in Google books. I do come across this phrase not too rarely in formal writing and understand it is already well-accepted by discerning readers. – Kris Apr 23 '12 at 9:55

The sentence is fine the way it is and is not missing an as.

as implies comparision. In the first statement, 'as much as' sets the amounts on its either side in comparision.

In the second instance, '...half of us now earn as much' stands as a statement on its own, with the "as what" part split out to another place further down. (cf. "I know as much.").

In fact, if there's anything missing grammatically, it is a 'do' at the end, in each case.

  • I disagree in that I think the second sentence is still intending to make a comparison with the husbands and partners' earnings and therefore requires as. In order for your interpretation to hold, there would need to be another value which the earnings were being compared to for the statement "half of us now earn as much" to carry any real meaning, even if it is grammatically sound. For example, "John earns £30,000. Half of us now earn [either] as much [as John,] or more than our husbands and partners". Clearly this isn't the intended meaning. – Graham Snyder Apr 22 '12 at 0:13

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