In the sentence

"she did more than just go against the grain" ,

why is the verb "go" used in its base form? And if "she" is the subject, "did" the predicate, "more" the object, what grammatical role is "than just go against the grain" playing?

  • 1
    I'm not sure, but it might be that it's she did go, not she did more. Parsed like that, grammatically, the "more than" can be inserted or taken out.
    – J.R.
    Jan 11, 2018 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


"Go against the grain" is a set expression for "doing the opposite of what is considered normal or traditional". So to break the sentence down grammatically, where "she" is the subject and "did more than just go against the grain" is the predicate, the reason why "go" is in its base form is because the sentence has been adapted from its original form to emphasize that her actions were very abnormal or extremely untraditional.

The basic sentence:

She went against the grain.

Then if you want to say that her actions were more extreme than simply going against the grain, we use "more than just" + infinitive verb:

She did more than just go against the grain.

This is a common way of adding emphasis. For example:

Basic sentence:

He baked a cake

Sentence with emphasis:

He did more than just bake a cake

(This means that he baked many other things or that he put a lot of effort into making the cake (perhaps he spent a lot of time decorating it after)).

This structure works with nouns as well: "more than just" + noun.

It is more than just a school.

This sentence implies the speaker feels personally connected to the school, maybe because they have many good memories of their time at the school. Sometimes, the speaker might be more specific and say:

It is more than just a school, it is a community.

This emphasizes that they felt like they belonged at the school, that they had many friends there or good teachers.

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