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  1. This is a more carefully researched article than I have read this semester.
  1. This is a more carefully researched article than what I have read this semester.

  2. This is a more carefully researched article than those I have read this semester.

The first sentence is from my textbook. I want to know if I can insert "what" or "those", as in (2) and (3) respectively. If all of them work, which one(s) is commonly used?

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    Idiomatically speaking, I'd much prefer any rather than what, those, [nothing]. I can't see any justification for using Present Perfect rather than Simple Past anyway, but I have to say that - regardless of whether it's formally "grammatical" or not - [A better article] than what I read last term sounds a bit "downmarket, slangy" to me, whereas ...than any I read last term sounds much more "upmarket, formal, literary". May 5, 2022 at 16:47

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All three sentences are grammatically valid. By using the plural "those", #3 clearly says that you have read more than one article, while #1 and #2 don't specify whether it is one or many. That's the only difference.

#1 is an example of "elision", leaving out words whose meaning is implied. It should be obvious from context that the intent is, "This is a more carefully research article than THE ARTICLES I have read this semester." As in your examples, you could say "what" or "those" instead of "the articles".

All three forms are commonly used. I'd guess #1 is somewhat more common but all would be readily understood.

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  • Thank you, Jay.
    – ForOU
    May 5, 2022 at 14:06

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