2

Someone is trying to solve problems, but the number of problems they're causing is more than that they're solving.

Can you say either of these?

(1) You're causing more problems than you're solving.

(2) You're causing more problems than you're solving problems.

I think (1) is grammatical, but is (2) grammatical as well?

Now, how about these sentence?

(3) You're causing more problems for yourself than you're solving for me.

(4) You're causing more problems for yourself than you're solving problems for me.

I think (3) is grammatical, although not terribly natural.

Is (4) grammatical?

0

I find the present simple tense is more suitable than the present continuous since you are not talking about their case at that moment, but in general and as a "fact" or "nature of that person" who causes problems.

If we assumed that your four sentences are in present simple them they are grammatically correct. But the first and third sentence seem more natural than the second and fourth one as there is no need for repeating "problems" twice.

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1) - You're causing more problems than you're solving.

In comparatives like this, there is no need to repeat the direct object. In fact, repeating it is awkward (and I'd call it a grammar mistake).

  • He's catching more fish these days than he's eating.

Whereas: For 2), - You're causing more problems than you're solving problems.

Don't you mean: You're causing problems **more than solving problems (or them).**?

There, the focus is on the verbs, not the noun: cause problems and solve problems. More than is not a comparative. It means: rather than, instead of. It is a conjunction or preposition phrase (depending on your school of grammar).

3) is OK, as is 1)

4) Suffers from the a similar issue as 2). 2) repeats the object and 4) repeats the subject and verb.

4) You're causing more problems for yourself than you're solving problems for me.

Don't you mean: You're causing problems for yourself more than you're solving problems for me.?

Better would be, for 4)

You're causing more problems for yourself than solving them for me.

There is no need to repeat the subject and auxiliary verb (you're) as it is the same in both clauses.

  • Nope, I don't mean 'rather than'. I mean "The number of problems you're causing (for yourself) is more than that of problems you're solving (for me)." – listeneva Mar 19 at 1:45
  • @listneva Ok then, say it that way because 2) with the repetition of the object is not grammatical. Only 1) and 3) are right. – Lambie Mar 19 at 15:14
  • Are you sure 4 is ungrammatical? – listeneva Mar 20 at 0:53
  • @listenevaI It suffers from some limitations as does 2). There is no need to repeat the subject. I have amended my answer. – Lambie Mar 20 at 14:30
  • Note that my question is whether 2 and 4 are grammatical. You seem to say 2 is ungrammatical because it repeats the direct object, and that 4 is ungrammatical because it repeats you're. If repeating you're makes 4 ungrammatical, how come you don't object to repeating you're in 2? Also, if repeating the direct object makes 2 ungrammatical, how come you don't object to repeating the direct object (them) in your version of 4? – listeneva Mar 21 at 2:14

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