(1a) I read books more than magazines. — correct
"More" in (1a) modifies "read".
(1b) I read books more than I do/did magazines. — correct
Since (1b) exists, then "than" in (1a) is the conjunction.
This conjunction in (1a) joins the clause "I read books more" and the clause "magazines" together.

(2a) I read more books than magazines. — correct
"More" in (2a) modifies "books".
(2b) I read more books than I do/did magazines. — incorrect
Since (2b) does not exist, then "than" in (2a) is the preposition.
The prepositional phrase "than magazines" in (2a) modifies "more" (although it seems strange to me).

Could you show me please all mistakes I did in my parsing?

1 Answer 1


The initial clause in (1b) is "I read books", while "I read books more" is not a clause. "more than I do" is an adjectival phrase modifying "magazines". That (1b) is valid does not indicate how (1A) should be parsed.

Sentence (2b) is grammatically valid.

  • I think it would be better to say that in (1b) "than I do magazines" is complement of "more". In full (unreduced) it would be *"I read books more than I do read magazines".
    – BillJ
    Sep 12, 2022 at 10:01
  • Incidentally, "more" is never an adjective, but always either a determinative, as in "He made more mistakes", or an adverb as in "He behaved more tactfully than she did", and the OP's example 1b of course.
    – BillJ
    Sep 12, 2022 at 12:58

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