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Generous subsidies will be available for sick people and families with children who really need medical care to buy individual coverage, but healthy single people between the ages of twenty-six and forty, say, will still have a financial incentive to remain outside the system until they get ill, at which point they can sign up for coverage. Consequently, the number of uninsured won’t fall as much as expected, and neither will prices.

[New Yorker]

Consider the following sentence, please:

  1. Consequently, the number of uninsured won’t fall as much as expected, and neither will prices.

Can I write the bold as-clause like this also:

a) ...won’t fall as much as it is/was expected to fall.

b) ...won’t fall as much as it is/was expected.

c) ...won’t fall as much as is/was expected.

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    You can optionally include the verb (past or present tense, was, is partly depending on exactly what you mean). But it's not idiomatic to include the "dummy pronoun" in as much as it was expected when the context is a PASSIVE construction. If it was an ACTIVE verb context, you would need to have an actual subject (noun or pronoun), as in ...won't fall as much as people / we expect[ed]. Jul 3 at 16:37
  • @FumbleFingers, is "it" really a dummy pronoun there? Doesn't it refer to "the number of uninsured"?
    – Mr. X
    Jul 3 at 17:34
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    I think in the examples with "to" (as much as it was expected to [fall]), it's not a dummy pronoun. But without the "to", (as much as it was expected.), it's a dummy. Jul 3 at 20:04
  • @JackO'Flaherty, But "as much as" here implies a comparison, just like the comparison in: John is as (much) tall as I am. Am I right?
    – Mr. X
    Jul 3 at 22:07
  • Sorry - it's not a "dummy" pronoun. But obviously it doesn't have a name, because it's not supposed to be there in the first place. Perhaps I should have just called it an extraneous "it" :) Jul 4 at 11:09
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a) ...won’t fall as much as it is/was expected to fall.

Yes, this is the deep meaning of the sentence before it was shortened to its surface form. Either "is" or "was" could be correct, with differences in meaning that I assume are clear to you.

b) ...won’t fall as much as it is/was expected.

In casual speech this might be OK, but it's more natural to say, "... as it is/was expected to."

c) ...won’t fall as much as is/was expected.

Yes, this is just a step between the original sentence and example a) where the auxiliary verb is included.

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