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Recently I found the following phrase in an English guide book:

In all regions except Southeast Asia it can be seen that the higher the consumption of cigarettes, the higher the tobacco-related mortality rate.

My question is: shouldn't I put a verb in the end of each clause? This would be:

In all regions except Southeast Asia it can be seen that the higher the consumption of cigarettes is, the higher the tobacco-related mortality rate is.

Another example from the same book:

The more accurate your use of modifiers the better your writing will be.

I strongly want to put 'is' after the word 'modifiers,' what's the reason it is omitted? Is there any rule for this?

In case you wonder: it is a volume published by Academic English Press, so I assume this omission isn't a mistake. I just want to know why they omit the verb there, since I haven't come across such examples before.

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No, it's not necessary to include verbs. This is an established usage in English - compare the idiom the more the merrier, meaning 'the more people are present, the more successful the event will be'.

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  • True, but what confuses me is that they have the subject, whereas in constructions like 'the more, the merrier, neither a subject nor a verb are present. Sep 29, 2022 at 12:21
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    You just have to accept that "The more X the more Y", "The higher the X, the higher the Y" are idiomatic English. Sep 29, 2022 at 12:34
  • Sure, it is just that I don't understand when I can normally omit verbs, cos many phrases like that contain them. Is it just a matter of choice then? Sep 29, 2022 at 12:37
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    No, it isn't - your amended sentence with the repeated is is not idiomatic. You need to include verbs if the two phrases being compared use different verbs, for example The higher up the mountain they climbed, the colder the weather became. Sep 29, 2022 at 13:53
  • But it doesn't work with the following sentence (from the same source): 'The more accurate your use of modifiers the better your writing will be.' It seems that only is/are tend to be omitted. Sep 29, 2022 at 16:08

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