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Today I saw a photo of my friend's daughter, whom I saw in person more than a year ago. She looks to have grown about a foot since then.

Would it have been grammatically correct of me to say, "She's a foot taller from when I last saw her"?

How about "She's a foot taller than when I last saw her"? This seems less accurate since height ("taller") and time ("when") aren't comparable.

How about using both: "She's a foot taller than from when I last saw her"? This means she is taller than she was at the time I last saw her.

Stylistically, I prefer the first one--"taller from when I last saw her"--but is it grammatically correct?

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    Taller than [some other height, e.g. the height she was when you last saw her). – Michael Harvey Nov 16 '19 at 15:43
  • Thanks, Michael. But "some other height" isn't mentioned. Also, if I say "taller from when I last saw her," isn't that acceptable because it's just a rewording of "From when I last saw her, she was taller"? – thechristophershow Nov 18 '19 at 19:06
  • "But "some other height" isn't mentioned." Doesn't have to be 'mentioned'. It is implied by (1) taller than (2) when I last saw her. – Michael Harvey Nov 18 '19 at 19:50
  • Well, at any rate, can't "taller from when I last saw her" also be used? That's what I'm mainly concerned with. – thechristophershow Nov 18 '19 at 21:00
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    I would reword it to 'She was taller than when I last saw her'. – Michael Harvey Nov 19 '19 at 16:01
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Comparative adjectives (e.g. taller, shorter, bigger, smaller, etc) are used with than. Not 'from'.

Comparative adjectives compare one person or thing with another and enable us to say whether a person or thing has more or less of a particular quality:

Josh is taller than his sister.

I’m more interested in music than sport.

Big cars that use a lot of petrol are less popular now than twenty years ago.

Comparison (Cambridge Dictionary)

than

preposition, conjunction

used to join two parts of a comparison

Than (Cambridge Dictionary)

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  • Yes, but I want to use "taller" to compare her current height now and her height in the past. In other words, "From the time I last saw her, she is taller." That's a rephrasing of "She is taller than from when I last saw her," right? In the latter sentence, "from" seems necessary because without it, you're comparing height ("taller") and time ("when"), which you can't do. Yet "than from," though grammatically correct in this case (right?), sounds ugly. – thechristophershow Aug 21 at 19:05
  • You can compare something with a time: she is taller than when I last saw her; the water is colder than when I filled the bath; gasoline is cheaper than last week. If you want, you can imagine "she was", "it was", and "it was" after "than" in each of those, but you don't need them. – Michael Harvey Aug 21 at 19:20
  • I know people do compare things with times, but is that technically correct? Or is it considered casual, colloquial? "She is taller than when I last saw her" literally means someone is tall, and the time is less tall. "The water is colder than when I filled the bath" literally means the water is cold, and the time is less cold. Logically it makes absolutely zero sense. Sometimes English grammar is like that, of course, but is this one of those cases? Or is this a case of casual writing, like blogging or something, and something you shouldn't use in a serious novel? – thechristophershow Aug 23 at 0:18
  • Continuing from my above comment, I know "than" is "used to join two parts of a comparison," but that's assuming the two parts are of the same category. For example, in "Taller than me," you're comparing the height of two people. "Taller than when" means you're comparing the height of one person with a place in time. Something tells me Fowler would hate it. Can a place in time be either short or tall? Does time have height? – thechristophershow Aug 23 at 0:24
  • Your comment two comments above this, Michael, helped clarify it for me. Thanks, I get it now. But I wonder if your comment directly above this one, about abbreviations, was meant for another thread. – thechristophershow Aug 26 at 15:33

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