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What is the meaning of "as" which isn't placed on both sides of an adjective/adverb, as + adjective/adverb + as, but placed just before an adjective/adverb like the sentence below?

~, since we could as easily have begun with ~.

In the case below I think that "as" before he is conjunction and means because and "as" before B is adverb and means like. Is this correct? And is "as" before capable interpreted as the case above?

Clearly, A agrees with this, as he is just as capable of looking at clock dials as B is.

These sentences are brought from this book, p. 19 in the first and last paragraph respectively.

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As can be used as adverb, conjunction or preposition.

In the first case, where it serves as adverb, another as is optional, or understood, e.g.

First class was science. We could as easily have begun with math as with science.

Or:

First class was science. We could as easily have begun with math.

Or even without as:

First class was science. We could easily have begun with math.

In the second example, the two of the three uses of as differ. In the first use, since or because could be substituted for as; it's used as a conjunction, e.g.

Clearly, A agrees with this, since he is just as capable of looking at clock dials as B is.

The next two uses are of the form as [item 1] as [item2], as an adverb, in a comparison.

English usage is somewhat peculiar. The use of as may change with object, e.g.

I was weak as a child.

I was weak as a kitten.

The first example above denotes the time and when could be substituted, a conjunction. The second example uses it as an adverb for comparison in a common idiom. [oops... The first example could be read two ways -- as a comparison, i.e. weak as any child might be, or in the time frame of my youth. Apologies for the ambiguity!]

  • What is the difference in meaning between with “as” and without “as” in the first case? And in the second case, is it possible not to use one word, “capable”, after “as” but to use several words, “capable of looking at clock dials”? I have not seen this kind of usage. – Orient Aug 29 '18 at 5:34
  • In my first two examples, there is no difference in meaning, in context. As far as [oops... I'm using as] adding of looking at clock dials, or of tying his shoes, that is good colloquial English, restricting the meaning of capable, – DrMoishe Pippik Aug 29 '18 at 19:31

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