In my mother language (Portuguese) , these sentences:

The house looks twice as big as it did in the street.

I'll go as quickly as I can

They mean, when they are translated, this:

The house looks bigger than it did in the street

I'll go faster that I can.

Are those sentences equal in meaning? Because, comparative of equality means that the two itens are equal, not more than the other.

Or, maybe those 2 sentences (using Comparative of Equality)ate just an exception and I can use both of these structures to say the same thing (One this is more than the other).

  • You're ignoring the crucial word "twice". "Twice as X as Y" means something very different from "as X as Y".
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 28 '19 at 20:20
  • I didn't understand you comment that much. Could you explain a little bit further? Because, in my first example, I used the word "twice". I would like to know if I can use either comparative of equality or superiority to say the same thing in these cases. Sep 28 '19 at 20:30
  • See Michael Paul's answer.
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 28 '19 at 22:36

I doubt that the second sentence translates to “faster”, because “as fast as I can” means at my maximum speed. The first sentence uses the word twice, as pointed out by Colin Fine, so it is also a “Comparative of Equality” as you call it, but it compares the original size to double the size. So actually the first translation is also not accurate: a = 2b does not mean the same thing as a > b

In other words: a sentence with the structure

A is as B as C

always means: B is equal for A and C

But beware of optional modifiers like twice, half, n times. These can be between is and as, like for example:

A is 7.3 times as rich as C

which means exactly this: The wealth (richness) of A is exactly 7.3 times the wealth of C.

Edit: I've thought of more modifiers: "at least", "at most", "nearly", "hardly", "likely", "certainly", “not” and I'm sure many adverbs would be able to fill this spot depending on context. Example:

A is at least as good as B for the job.

Meaning A is equally good or better, compared to B, analogous to ≥

Not all of these have obvious counterparts in mathematical notation, I wouldn’t know how to write “nearly”, but the starting point is always equality.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .