2
  1. She's talking on the phone about how her neighbor died, as if how many times she's talked about the incident so far isn't enough.

  2. She's talking on the phone about how her neighbor died, as if the number of times she's talked about the incident so far isn't enough.

Is the first sentence grammatically correct, and does it mean the same as the second sentence means?

  • No, the first sentence is incorrect - or at least very awkward, since I don't have a simple explanation for why it's wrong. – neotryte Jan 4 '17 at 15:48
  • How you would you construct a sentence that means what the first sentence means? – lekon chekon Jan 4 '17 at 15:59
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    I would use the second sentence. To me, it means what the first sentence seems to mean. – stangdon Jan 4 '17 at 16:44
  • how many times in your first sentence does not make sense to me at all, so I call it an incorrect sentence. furthermore, although isn't enough in your second sentence may be acceptable, I'd like to use aren't there. – Abbasi Jan 4 '17 at 19:41
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    @Abbasi - the subject of the last clause in the sentence is the number, which is singular, so isn't is the correct form. – stangdon Jan 5 '17 at 13:10
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Your sentence

She's talking on the phone about how her neighbor died, as if how many times she's talked about the incident so far isn't enough.

is awkward at best.

how may times

is in the pattern of a question asking the number of times, yet I believe you want to express "she's" talked about it many times

She's talking on the phone about how her neighbor died, as if the number of times she's talked about the incident so far wasn't enough.

She's talking on the phone about how her neighbor died again, so many times she's talked about the incident so far hasn't been enough.

1

In a "first sentence", it's fine to mention that someone is doing something too much, or too often. But not with the examples you provide.

A more natural sentence would be:

She's talking on the phone again about how her neighbor died, as if she hasn't already talked about it enough.

The "again" and "already" imply she's done it previously, and the "enough" implies that I think the number of times she's already talked about it should be sufficient.

You can also specify the number of times, if it's relevant.

He's trying again to get on the Olympic curling team, as if five times wasn't enough.

  • Would you go so far as to say the first sentence is wrong? – lekon chekon Jan 4 '17 at 17:16
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    @lekonchekon I don't know if it's grammatically incorrect. If I had to guess I'd say it's fine. But instead of "how many times" I think it's more natural to say "the number of times". But given the context both feel too wordy, like someone giving a college lecture rather than casual conversation. – Andrew Jan 4 '17 at 17:20

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