In the following sentence, I'm confused with the use of the phrase 'the way the Earth is'. What is the grammatical function of the phrase? Let me know how it can be paraphrased.

The Moon is not a magnet the way the Earth is.

  • 1
    The same as "in the way the Earth is">
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 24 '19 at 11:21
  • There's nothing wrong with your example. You could pad it out more as The moon is not a magnet in the same way that the earth is, if you like that better, or rephrase to The moon is not magnetic like the earth, but it's fine the way you first wrote it. Mar 12 '21 at 12:42

This sentence means:

The Earth is a magnet, but the Moon is not.

There's only one "way" for an object to be a magnet, which is to produce a magnetic field. The Earth produces a magnetic field, but the Moon does not.

This sentence could be parsed to mean:

The Moon is a magnet in a different way from how the Earth is a magnet.

Since there's only one way to be a magnet, this leaves only metaphorical meanings of "magnet". Metaphorically speaking, anything that attracts anything for any reason can be called a "magnet". Successful business people can be called "money magnets", and cars that women find attractive are called "babe magnets". In this way, you could say the moon is a "magnet" because it attracts matter with gravity. But the Earth also has gravity, so in this sense it is a "magnet" in the same way as the Earth is a "magnet", so this cannot be the intended meaning.


Earth is a magnet because it has a high gravity pull unlike its moon which doesn't but never-the-less the moon is a magnet too since it has a weak gravity pull none-the-less.

The grammatical function is to show comparison between the Earth and its moon:

  • He doesn't do it the way his friend does. (His friend does it in a different way)
  • That would mean the Moon and Earth are magnets in the same way, just the Earth is a bigger magnet.
    – gotube
    Nov 17 '21 at 21:23

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