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I like the film more than the book

first, more is an adverb in the sentence

She earns a lot more than I do.

second, more is a determiner in the second sentence.

How can I find the difference of the word "more" in the sentences?

How can you know a part of speech of each word "more" in each sentence?

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  • In the first example, the comparative phrase "more than the book" is a dependent in clause structure; "more" is thus an adverb. In the second "a lot more than I do", is a noun phrase functioning as direct object of "earns". Here, "more" is a 'fused' determiner head interpreted roughly as "more money", with the than phrase functioning as complement to it. "More" thus belongs to the part of speech determinative.
    – BillJ
    Oct 21, 2021 at 7:28
  • My take on it would be that the first sentence really means "I like the film more than [I like] the book", so the usage is the same. Oct 21, 2021 at 8:11
  • "The book" may be interpreted as a reduced clause, or as a noun phrase functioning directly as complement of the prep "than". Whichever analysis is preferred, "more" is an adverb.
    – BillJ
    Oct 21, 2021 at 8:27

3 Answers 3

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Some adverbs are determiners as used.

However, not all adverbs function as determiners.

A determiner must modify a noun so that it is determined or specified.

Strictly speaking, "more" in "She earns a lot more than I do." is not actually a determiner - there is no noun in the sentence that it determines. Compare with "She earns a lot more money than I do. However, it does function as an pronoun in the second sentence, as it is the head of the noun phrase. If you search for "more" in any common use dictionary, you will see usage tagged pronoun with a similar sentence. This is the simplest way to think of it!

Determiners must modify nouns or noun phrases, adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or phrases.

(However, there is some difference of opinion as to what exactly it means to be a "determiner", depending on what grammar text or system of grammar you are using, so be careful if you say much more.)

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[1] I like the film [more than the book].

[2] She earns [a lot more than I do].

In [1] the comparative phrase "more than the book" is a dependent in clause structure; "more" is thus an adverb.

In [2] "a lot more than I do", is a noun phrase functioning as direct object of "earns". Here, "more" is a 'fused' determiner head interpreted roughly as "more money", with the than phrase functioning as complement to it. "More" thus belongs to the part of speech determinative functioning as a determiner.

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  • thanks. I have a question. Can I say she earns more a lot than l do?, and if possible, is it exchangeable?
    – bak1936
    Oct 21, 2021 at 7:58
  • FYI, a 'fused' determiner head NP is a noun phrase where a determinative combines , or fuses, the functions of head and determiner. In your second example, "more" is thus simultaneously determiner and head of the noun phrase "a lot more than I do".
    – BillJ
    Oct 21, 2021 at 8:02
  • so do you mean that a lot is an adverb and money is omitted in NP?
    – bak1936
    Oct 21, 2021 at 9:36
  • @bak1936 I misread you first comment. No, you can't say *"She earns more a lot than l do". That would be ungrammatical.
    – BillJ
    Oct 21, 2021 at 10:24
  • @bak1936 "Lot" is a noun modifying "more". Yes, "more" is an NP interpreted as "more money".
    – BillJ
    Oct 21, 2021 at 10:27
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I like the film more than the book.

Here 'more' is an adverb, modifying the verb 'like'.

She earns a lot more than I do.

Here, 'a lot' (meaning *to a great extent/degree') is used as an adverb. Again, 'more' is also used as an adverb modifying another adverb 'a lot'. Similarly, in the expressions, 'a lot more', 'a bit more', 'more' is used as an adverb.

Reference : -

https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/more

https://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/alot_a_lot_allot.htm

'More' is used as a determiner only when it is followed by a noun :

She earns more money from her business.

She spends more time with her boyfriend. etc.

Therefore,

'More' is a determiner when followed by a noun' :

'She earns more money.'

'More' is a pronoun when used instead of a noun :

'He did more for me.'

'More' is an adverb

(1) when used with a verb to modify it:

'She wishes to earn more.'

(2) when used before an adjective to qualify it :

'She is more beautiful than her sister.'

(3) when used before another adverb to modify it :

'She comes here more often.'

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  • thanks for your post. I learned a lot. but I show you a source. In second sentence, more is a determiner(oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/more_1?q=more) it is placed in 7 line;more than.
    – bak1936
    Oct 21, 2021 at 7:37
  • @bak1936 Yes, in your second example, "more" is not an adverb but a determiner in a 'fused determiner-head noun phrase See my answer.
    – BillJ
    Oct 21, 2021 at 7:46
  • @bak1936, In the sentence 'He has a lot of toys', 'lot' is a noun (meaning 'a large extent/amount'). But in the sentence 'She earns a lot', 'a lot' is an adverb (meaning 'to a great extent'). And in the sentence, 'She earns a lot more', 'more' is obviously an adverb, modifying another adverb 'a lot'. Oct 21, 2021 at 7:58
  • @SandipKumarMandal According to a dictionary, it says it is a determiner.
    – bak1936
    Oct 21, 2021 at 8:00
  • 1
    @bak1936 , English grammar and language, with its variety, always surprises and baffles us. A topic can be explained in different ways and from different angles. Our learning should be exposed to everything. Knowledge isn't restricted." Oct 21, 2021 at 8:13

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