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I have known that an adjective of a positive degree is always omitted in a subordinate clause of a comparative sentence like the following

*He is taller than I am (tall)

I happened upon a phrase which doesn't omit such an adjective like the following.

used before adjectives and adverbs to say that something is more than is good, necessary, possible, etc. (Definition of a word 'too')

Source is from Oxford Leaner's Dictionaries.

I think the phrase should be changed to the following.

used before adjectives and adverbs to say that something is better or more necessary or more possible, etc than something is.

Adjectives are included in the subordinate clause of conjunction 'than' like the above.

I'm not sure if I have had a wrong information. I want to know why the subordinate clause consists in such an adjective.

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  • I don't understand your first paragraph: please give an example. The use of more without an adjective or adverb in the quotation is anomalous, and would not make sense outside the special context of a definition.
    – Colin Fine
    May 30, 2022 at 12:42
  • @ColinFine I modify the post.
    – bak1936
    May 30, 2022 at 12:57

1 Answer 1

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As I said in my comment (before you expanded the qustion), I find the definition grammatically odd. I would expect a placeholder after "more":

to say that something is more ''something'' than is good, necessary, possible, etc.

or (perhaps less confusingly)

to say that something ''has some property'' more than is good, necessary, possible, etc.

I think your confusion is because you are assuming that the adjectives good, necessary, possible are part of what is being compared, like tall in the example you have now given. But they are not: they are part of the standard of comparison.

An example of the definition with a real quality inserted would be

"He is too tall" means that "he is taller than is good, necessary, possible etc".

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