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I've learned that in the as ... as structure as shown in the following example: "I want to know if he is as handsome as I imagined." the first "as" is a degree adverb, the second "as" a conjunction. If so I wonder wheather the following sentences sound natural and mean the same or not: "As I imagined, I want to know if he is as handsome." "I want to know, as I imagined, if he is as handsome." Thank you.

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    no, you can't separate them.
    – Esther
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 0:49

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The sentences below are not idiomatic and do not sound natural.

"As I imagined, I want to know if he is as handsome."

"I want to know, as I imagined, if he is as handsome."

They both mean that you are imagining wanting to know, rather than wanting to know if your imagination of his appearance reflects reality. And they don't compare his looks to anything. He is as handsome as what?

This sentence is idiomatic and natural sounding: "I want to know if he is as handsome as I imagined."

The word as serves the same function in both places of the sentence: a comparison. It's a required particle.

In dialog you could have something like the following that implies the rest of the comparison from context:

"I like Paul and Bob. Paul isn't as handsome. But he is nicer."

In that paragraph, the comparisons are established by context and are implied. They are equivalent to:

"I like Paul and Bob. Paul isn't as handsome as Bob. But he is nicer than Bob."

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