0
  1. Russia is the most powerful country after the US.

Or

  1. Russia is the second most powerful country after the US.

Question: Which one of the above should I use to convey that Russia is second to US in terms of overall power.

Personally, I was inclined to believe that number one is the correct version, because to me it is more logically sound to think of 'after' as 'excluding' or 'following'. However I found more instances of number 2 being used on online forums.

Many thanks in advance.

  • What about China? Is it third most powerful after US or second most powerful after Russia? – SovereignSun Apr 3 '17 at 14:21
2

Both sentences are correct, though I would favour the latter.

The first one requires a little more thought by the listener because, when parsing the sentence on-the-fly, the after the US clause changes Russia's position from first to second.

For the second sentence, the first part stands on its own:

Russia is the second most powerful country

and the after the US clause simply provides additional information (who is #1): it's an afterthought, and you could insert a comma to separate it from the main sentence.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.