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Sorry if this question is too easy.

When N is a number, like 6, we can simply say

This box contains more than 6 balls.

Now, what if we replace '6' with a phrase like 'the number of rooms in my home'?

Of course the sentence

The number of balls in this box is greater than the number of rooms in my home.

is correct. But I'm looking for sentences beginning with 'This box contains'.

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    This box contains more balls than my home has rooms. – StoneyB Aug 26 '17 at 13:54
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    As StoneyB implies, if the phrase you substitute for N isn't (semantically and syntactically) equivalent to a number, you have to move the head noun balls to before the comparator than. You can do this when N is a number (This box contains more balls than 6), but this is "unusual" phrasing for most contexts. – FumbleFingers Aug 26 '17 at 13:57
  • @FumbleFingers, I'd like the phrase 'the number of rooms in my home' to be used. – apadana Aug 26 '17 at 14:08
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    It's your choice. You can say This box contains more balls than the number of rooms in my home if you want, but StoneyB's shorter version is far more natural and "elegant" from the native speaker's perspective. What you can't validly say is This box contains more than the number of rooms in my home balls. – FumbleFingers Aug 26 '17 at 14:19
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    @Arham: The context more balls than wooden squares is one where the "comparand" (the thing/amount being used to make the comparison, wooden squares in this case) is NOT "a number" (so you can't say It contains more than wooden squares balls). In your "atoms" example I suggest you remove the first instance of that word. It's not actually ungrammatical to include it, but it's clumsy phrasing to have it twice. Alternatively, remove the second occurrence: Only [the] computational cells containing more atoms than about 25% of the initial number per cell are [blah blah]. – FumbleFingers Aug 26 '17 at 15:45

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