I came across some sentences in which they add as before a adjective, but I can't make it clear all the time, saying

revising is more involved and typically means you've re-checked everything and made changes as necessary


It is not really as serious.

In the above two instances. why do they add as? I think regardless of the first one, it is not really serious could make sense as well, as to the first one, I am more confused about its meaning and usage.


Both of these are actually idiomatic abbreviations for common expressions.

With the first example: "As necessary" is an abbreviation for "as is necessary (to achieve some result)". Examples:

After running the race, make sure you drink as much water as (is) necessary (for you to feel fully recovered).

Before you turn in your assignment, be sure to check it for completeness and accuracy. Take as much time as (is) necessary (to ensure there are no mistakes).

With the second example: There is a common grammatical structure that may be familiar to you, "as X as Y", used to relate something to something else, for example

She is as smart as a computer

This is commonly used to relate an adjective to an opinion:

The question isn't as difficult as you might think.

Your second example uses an abbreviated form of this structure. As written the sentence is incomplete, and not grammatical, but nevertheless it would be commonly interpreted to mean something like:

It's not really as serious (as you might expect).

Again, in both these cases the missing parts should be easily understood from context.

  • I wonder if the last example was meant as "It's not really that serious." which doesn't require any addition.
    – user3169
    Aug 6 '18 at 20:25
  • @user3169 Sure, it could be "... not as serious (as something that is really serious)" The context should give you a clue.
    – Andrew
    Aug 7 '18 at 2:31

The first is a quasi-predicative as

Apply as [is] necessary.

and the second is a comparative as with the comparand supplied by earlier context:

It is not as serious (as something else).

P.S. as is necessary or as necessary is not a "sentence" but a subordinate clause, with as as the conjunction.

  • Thanks. Could you give a clue why we can say as much as is necessary. Is as is necessary a whole sentence coz I cant break it down according to grammatical rules. I have seen some sentences like as were you, but it has a you as a subject here.
    – Young
    Aug 10 '18 at 9:37
  • Please see the P.S. Aug 10 '18 at 10:26
  • I can see as is a conjunction, but can a subordinate clause be there without a whole sentence structure?
    – Young
    Aug 10 '18 at 11:52
  • @Young: You have given complete sentences in your examples. They are not sentence fragments. And I have given complete sentences in my examples as well. Aug 10 '18 at 11:53
  • Yeah. For my instance, it is a complete sentence, but in the phrase, saying as usual, as necessary, they are more like kind of sentence fragments,but as here is as a conjunction, after a conjunction is normally a complete sentence, so why I can use a conjunction and just a adjective follow it.
    – Young
    Aug 10 '18 at 12:00

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