He is as clever as I am.

Is 'As clever as I am' an adverbial clause of comparison functioning as an adverbial adjunct, or is it the subjective complement to the verb 'is'? If the last case is true, what would be its category?

Because I know that in the sentence 'He is clever' clever is an adjective functioning as subjective complement, because the verb 'to be' always takes subjective complement. That's why I think that 'as clever as I am' is a subjective complement, but I read in a grammar book that it is actually an adverbial clause of comparison.

And if it is actually an adverbial clause of comparison, it cannot function as subjective complement, because adverbial clauses always function as adverbial adjunct, so I'm really lost here.

  • You are right: "as clever as I am" is an adjective phrase serving as subjective complement of "is". It's "I am" that is the comparative clause serving as comp of the second "as". The comparative clause is obligatorily reduced, as most comparative clauses are. We understand that *"He is as clever as I am clever", which of course is ungrammatical, so we drop the "clever". (Note that you could also say "He is as clever as me"). – BillJ May 21 '20 at 10:25

I think you may be confusing different uses of the same words.

As clever as I am, I couldn't repair my car.

This looks like an adverbial phrase meaning "Even though I am very clever"

He is as clever as I am

This looks like a complement.

The words are the same, but the intonation would likely be different, with different stress.

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