"\$25 more than" vs "\$25 more than what"?

"But that e-mail - the one he'd overlooked - said his clients were supposed to be paid \$425 million - \$25 million more than he'd written in the contract."

I think the last part of the sentence "\$25 million more than he'd written in the contract" has a grammar error. I think it should be "\$25 million more than what/the money/the amount/ the number (etc.) he'd written in the contract."

Am I right?

• No, it's OK as is. But I might change "he'd written" to "stated". Luckily for him, most contracts cannot be changed to the tune of \$25 million by a simple email. :-) Oct 9, 2014 at 14:23
• Then, how about "\$25 million more than what/the money/the amount/ the number(etc) he'd written in the contract."? Is it correct? Oct 9, 2014 at 17:08

No, you are mistaken. It's perfectly correct for than to take a clause of this type, with an appropriately-placed "gap". For example:

• It's bigger than I expected it to be.
• Note the gap at the end, after "to be". (Cf. "to be big".)
• The meaning is "Its size is greater than the size I expected it to have."
• Incidentally, we can also elide the "it to be", and just say … than I expected. This is more common, in fact; and it does not affect the meaning.
• She earns more money than she used to earn.
• Again, note the gap at the end, after "to earn". (Cf. "to earn a lot of money".)
• The meaning is "The amount of money that she earns is greater than the amount she used to earn."
• And similarly to the above, we can also elide the final "earn", and just say … than she used to.
• The painting was more beautiful than seemed possible.
• Note the gap before "seemed". (The gap is actually the subject of "seemed".)
• The meaning is roughly "The beauty of the painting was greater than what seemed to be the maximum possible beauty."

Of your alternative suggestions, I think than the amount is the best. Than what and than the money are both pretty awkward. (In fact, than what would immediately make me suspect a non-native writer.)

I think if "that, what, the amount", etc. are used as the subject or object of the verb to show which person or thing you are referring to, they can be dropped without any change in meaning. So it's optional to use that, what or the amount in the sentence in question.

"His clients were supposed to be paid \$425 million - \$25 million more than (that, what or the amount) he had written in the contract)".