A example:

I care more about others


I care about others more

Is there any difference between both sentences?

  • for first sentence:

    Does more modifies verb care or prep about ?

  • for second sentence:

    what word does more modify?

  • for preposition about:

    Can I use more to modify about?

Last question: is there any general rule ?

  • 1
    In both cases "more" modifies the verb phrase "care about others".
    – BillJ
    Feb 23, 2021 at 13:15
  • 1
    I can't easily see any potential for a semantic distinction with the example as given. But I'm in no doubt that Having read your letter, I think more of you would nearly always be interpreted as meaning I think more highly of you (you have gone up in my estimation). On the other hand, ...I think of you more would be interpreted as meaning I think of you more often (I'm preoccupied with thinking about you). In short, just because more modifies think in both cases doesn't mean they're semantically equivalent. Feb 23, 2021 at 15:11
  • @FumbleFingers I think if I interpret it as 'I think more of you', it seems right too.
    – yixuan
    Feb 23, 2021 at 15:30
  • to care about usually refers to either being concerned [about someone's welfare] OR being annoyed [by something]. But you haven't provided enough context to say which of those (or something totally different) applies. Note that trhere's also to care for, which usually means either to look after someone, or to feel great affection for them. But the distinction I just flagged up above doesn't seem so relevant to I care more for him / I care for him more, where (to me, at least) both versions are equally likely to carry either of those different senses. Feb 23, 2021 at 16:10

1 Answer 1

  1. For the first sentence:

    Does more modify the verb care or the preposition about?

    More modifies the verb care.

  2. For the second sentence:

    What word does more modify?

    It also modifies the verb care.

  3. The preposition about:

    Can I use more to modify about?


  4. Last question: is there any general rule?

    Yes. In this case, you want to put this adverb as close to the word it modifies as possible.

Consider these:

I care more about winning.

I care about winning more.

Some adverbs must be near the word or phrase they modify.

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  • 1
    If only could modifies after, why can't I think more modifies about?
    – yixuan
    Feb 23, 2021 at 14:07
  • @yixuan Good! The reason is simple: "care about" is idiomatic.
    – Patriot
    Feb 23, 2021 at 14:49

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