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I was told the verb "be" (and its variants) can be omitted in the "the comparative..., the comparative..." construction. How about the following? Could the verb be omitted there?

a. The more criminals there are, the more notorious a city is.

b. The more criminals there are, the more notorious the city is.

2 Answers 2

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Without "is", both sentences are correct and they have the same meaning.

This structure is more natural when both parts have a verb or both parts don't, so it's more natural with "is" because the left part has a verb.

This structure is also more natural with "the" than "a", so b. is more natural than a.

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This particular one works because the verb is the same. Consequently, it is implied in the second clause. It works in

The more criminals there are, the more notorious the city.

But it would not work for

The more crimes are committed, the more notorious the city [are committed]

because that is nonsense.

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  • Disagree. To me, the second sentence is also correct, and implies, "The more crimes are committed there, the more notorious the city is." When the clauses are inverted, it's even clearer: "The more notorious the city, the more crimes are committed."
    – gotube
    Dec 16, 2022 at 5:54

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