We have a structure in English that says "A is to B what C is to D". Thus may I say "X is to Y more than/less than what Y is to Z"? And is it common or odd in English? Many thanks.


2 Answers 2


"A is to B what C is to D" is understandable, but awkward. The normal expression is 'As is to B as C is to D'

The other expressions you used aren't patterns I've ever heard or read. They'd probably make sense, but sound awkward.


We use 'A is to B as X is to Y'. to express some kind of equivalence or similarity. You can say 6 is to 3 as 100 is to 50, or dogs are to rabbits as cats are to mice, but your 'more than/less than' is odd and would not be recognised. Avoid using 'what' in that way.

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