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Can a bare infinitive come after ‘than’?

The transportation industry has always done more than carry travelers from one destination to another.

I think it would be appropriate to have “to carry” or “carrying” after ‘than’. Can anyone explain why ‘carry’ comes out?

The following is some of the text that contains the sentence above.

There is nothing more fundamental to the human spirit than the need to be mobile. It is the intuitive force that sparks our imaginations and opens pathways to life-changing opportunities. It is the catalyst for progress and personal freedom. Public transportation has been vital to that progress and freedom for more than two centuries. The transportation industry has always done more than carrying travelers from one destination to another. It connects people, places, and possibilities. It provides access to what people need, what they love, and what they aspire to become. In so doing, it grows communities, creates jobs, strengthens the economy, expands social and commercial networks, saves time and energy, and helps millions of people achieve a better life.

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  • There is an implicit “only” or “just” or something similar between “than” and “carry”. Does that help?
    – jwpfox
    Nov 28 '20 at 0:27
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than + bare infinitive is rather common as also stated on a BBC site.

So, although it is common use to omit to, it is not incorrect if you don't.

Using than + ing is not wrong either, but not in your sentence. It would be ok if you compared two elements which both need to be -ing forms:

Doing is more than saying.

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  • No screenshots, please. Just copy & paste it into a blockquote.
    – Eddie Kal
    Dec 9 '20 at 16:56
  • ok, will edit my answer. The page is rather comprehensive and one needs to scroll down a lot to find that particular section.
    – fev
    Dec 9 '20 at 17:01
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In this case, ‘than’ functions as the pseudo relative pronoun.

have done more (things) than carry travelers

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The transportation industry has always done more than carrying travelers from one destination to another.

Infinitive, be it bare or not, just won't work in this case.

First, you need to distinguish whether "than" is used as a preposition or conjunction.

In the original sentence, "than" is use as a preposition, so comes the gerund "carrying," according to the syntax.

However, you can still use "than" as a conjunction in this case, though it'd be written differently and sound more verbose:

The transportation industry has always done more than it has carried travelers from one destination to another.

Or normally it'd be reversed:

The transportation industry has always done more than has it carried travelers from one destination to another.

So, in either case, infinitives won't come into play here.

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