1

A grammar source says

If there is an adjective and a noun after the first as, a / an must go between them.

  • I hope you will agree that I am as imaginative a cook as my wife (is)!

But is there a strict grammar rule where to put a/an in an as + adjective + noun + as structure?

Can we say,

  • I hope you will agree that I am a cook as imaginative as my wife (is).

And suppose there is a teacher who is playing a game with kids at school .Which one would she say

  • Could you pick me up a fruit as sweet as an apple

or

  • Could you pick me up as sweet a fruit as apple

Thanks in advance!

  • It's such a minute technicality as such a fine point as this question of yours that needs such a careful attention to details to avoid writing too vague an answer. For the lack of a holistic explanation, I can only point you to one of my old answers, this definition, and a curious thing called Whiz-Deletion. – Damkerng T. Dec 4 '14 at 12:48
1

Your second example:

It isn't such a big problem as you might think.

is something I might say, but I'd probably never write it. However, if you make it conform to the first rule you cited, it turns into:

It isn't as big a problem as you might think.

This new version reduces nicely without changing its primary meaning:

It is not as big a problem as you might think.
It is not as big as you might think.
It is not as you might think.
It is not as you think.

The original does not reduce gracefully:

It is not such a big problem as you might think.
It is not a big problem as you might think.
OR
It is not such as you might think.

Which suggests that it is not a properly structured sentence.

To answer your second question, the teacher would definitely say

Could you pick me up a fruit as sweet as an apple

The second construction is technically correct (except that it should end with "an apple"), but in English we usually lead with the direct object before we modify it with a preposition. The more you separate the verb ("pick up") from the direct object ("a fruit"), the more challenging it will be for listeners to understand your sentence.

This would be especially true in a classroom where the teacher is trying to be very clear in her instructions.

I would expect her actual phrasing to be more like:

Could you pick up a fruit for me that's as sweet as an apple?

| improve this answer | |
1

my 'hard grammar' probably isn't good enough to post an authoritative answer on this, but I'd go for this…
Rather than

"I hope you will agree that I am a cook as imaginative as my wife (is)."

I'd say

"I hope you will agree that I am as imaginative a cook as my wife (is)."

(I'd say the (is) really is optional. I would go without it, but that's personal preference.)

Break it to simpler expressions…
I'm as [good] as [something].
'imaginative a cook', sits in the 'good' bracket - not as a quality of cooking ability, just as 'what we are comparing' be it a single quality or a qualitative phrase.
So, it's 'as simple as'… <— oh, that.
There's just a phrase instead of a single word.

This may be 'as good an excuse' or 'as good a reason' as you may get from me as to how this functions...

I really can't cover this one, hope a grammarian can fill in for me ;-)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.