I was explaining a recipe to my girlfriend over SMS. I wanted to tell her that for each cup of rice she added to the recipe, she should pour in an additional cup of water, too.

I texted:-

You should add twice as many cups of water as of rice.

That is, if she added, say, 4 cups of rice, she should pour 8 cups of water into the pot.

I know the sentence is comprehensible because she managed to fix the dish, but I am unsure if the sentence is correct or idiomatic.

Can someone tell me if this sentence is OK?

  • 1
    Twice as many cups is correct and idiomatic. – Lawrence Feb 16 '17 at 9:12
  • Please say why you think it might be wrong. – James K Feb 16 '17 at 9:25
  • ..... really? It sounds so weird that it made me think it wasn't at all idiomatic, or even correct. Besides, 'of rice' (omitting cup) - although clear in meaning - also looks weird to my eyes. I think I should have worded my question differently. I think I should've asked if it sounds idiomatic. – user48405 Feb 16 '17 at 9:28
  • 2
    The second "of" is unnecessary, but not wrong. – Daniel Roseman Feb 16 '17 at 9:46
  • 1
    @cldjr - Ah, but you already said "cups of" once before in the sentence, so you don't have to repeat it with cups of rice. If you said "cups of water" and then "of rice", the only natural implication is that you meant cups of rice, so you don't have to repeat it, and it actually reads better without it. – stangdon Feb 16 '17 at 12:51

The sentence is idiomatic. It means you can add double/ two times as many cups of water as (of) rice. But the phrase "twice as many as" is far more common.

  • 1
    The OP did use the "twice as many...as..." configuration, no? – Teacher KSHuang Feb 16 '17 at 11:28
  • I use the 'twice as many – user48405 Feb 16 '17 at 15:29

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