Google Translate gives me this sentence:

He himself felt helpless in communicating, as the more he said the wrong way.

It's not "the more wrong it is", it's just plainly "the wrong way". But since the former is just a noun phrase, grammatically can it be trimmed to a single noun? Is this the wrong way or not?

  • 1
    Google Translate frequently returns incorrect English. You should only rely on it to get a rough idea of how to say something in another language, as most of the time you have to clean up the grammar and phrasing.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 15:48
  • @Andrew sorry, I've just updated my question
    – Ooker
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 15:54
  • What's this "in theory" stuff? the more he said is not a NP and neither is the wrong way it is [sic]
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 19:36
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo I didn't aware that it even doesn't have the second "more"...
    – Ooker
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 0:10
  • I wonder why would this question be not useful. For lacking of research?
    – Ooker
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 4:43

1 Answer 1


As I mentioned in my comment, Google Translate does not reliably produce correct English sentences. It should only be used to get a rough idea of how to translate something from another language, which you then have to clean up.

Anyway, to answer your question. Yes, it is possible to use the "more X more Y" structure with simple nouns, however this will be considered artificial, not standard English. For example, imagine an advertisement for ice cream:

All moms know: the more Watson's Ice Cream, the more happy children.

Of course proper English would phrase it:

All moms know that the more Watson's Ice Cream they have, the more happy their children will be.

But the abbreviated style is appropriate for things like advertising or pithy statements. For example, when I teach a class that involves physical movements which are best learned through repetition (like dancing), and a student is talking about how they don't get it, I like to respond:

Your body has to understand it before your mind can. Less talk more do!

Removing all the surrounding grammar makes it more of an authoritative statement, as if I am expressing fact rather than opinion. Again, it's artificial, so it would not sound right out of context.

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    Is it always artificial though? What if I said "The more tadpoles populate the pond, the more frogs there will be by the end of summer." I don't think that's artificial or unnatural?
    – Element115
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 16:32
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    @Element115 I'm not sure what you're asking? In my answer I say that that is proper English grammar. What I call "artificial" is something like the more tadpoles the more frogs or even just more tadpoles; more frogs. Both are acceptable in the right context.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 16:36
  • Oh. That makes more sense. I wasn't quite sure why you meant by artificial and I was trying to clarify. Thanks for making that clearer.
    – Element115
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 16:37
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    I think that using Google Translate for a rough idea can often lead you down the wrong path, so even after you've spent time trying to polish its output, you end up with an inferior result.
    – user230
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 17:21
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    (just add a point, not arguing) I agree that you should good enough to rely on Google Translate, but once you develop a sense to detect the unnatural phrase, then its suggestions can help you to find natural ones. This does not mean trying to polish the whole output thought, you still have to translate the article by yourself.
    – Ooker
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 4:20

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