Would you show me if these mean the same thing?

Other than that, would you show me other(s) way to express following?

1.John is ten times as intelligent as David.

2.John is ten times more intelligent than David.

Thanks in advance

  • 1
    Your specific examples are equivalent. But note that many adjectives don't work well (or at all) with the more [adj] than form, because we don't normally use forms like more big, tall, old etc. (they'd be bigger, taller, older). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 12 '14 at 15:50
  • @FumbleFingers They aren't equivalent. If you're 1m and I'm twice as tall as you, I'm 2m. If I'm 50% taller than you I'm 1.5m. That means I'm .5m taller than you. If I'm two times taller, I'm 200% taller, so I'm 2m taller than you. So I'm 3m. Right? ( - or not?) – Araucaria - Not here any more. Dec 12 '14 at 23:59
  • 1
    @Araucaria: Nice try, but I think that's been done to death under Faisal's answer! :) – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '14 at 1:09
  • @FumbleFingers I got "He's two times smaller then me" today in class. Erm, stumped me ... :) – Araucaria - Not here any more. Dec 13 '14 at 1:15
  • @Araucaria: Apparently there's a recognised problem in this area when it comes to teaching/talking about basic arithmetic comparisons (what the linguists call partitive comparative expressions) with "nonstandard black dialect speakers". I didn't read that link in detail, but it looks like this is because they actually conceptualise such things differently, as well as using different words to describe such relationships. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '14 at 14:26

The following explanation might not make sense at first, and the reason for that is that human intelligence is, as yet, unquantifiable:

Assume that David's intelligence = X

  1. "John is ten times as intelligent as David", means that John's intelligence = 10 * X
  2. "John is ten times more intelligent than David", means that John's intelligence = X + (10 * X) = 11 * X

So basically they convey the same meaning: John is considerably more intelligent than David.

Now when comparing two quantifiable amounts:

Assume that David is 5 years old

  1. "John is ten times as old as David", means that John is 10 * 5 = 50 years old.
  2. "John is ten times older than David", means that John is 5 + (10 * 5) = 55 years old.
  • 3
    I think almost no native speakers would assume John is 55 (as opposed to 50-ish) in your final example. Your quantifiable/unquantifiable distinction reflects a mathematical mindset that isn't manifest in ordinary English usage. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 12 '14 at 15:56
  • I agree. I have an engineering/mathematics background, hence the misplaced formulas. I suppose people will just assign the same significance to John's intelligence or age regardless of the wording. – user11664 Dec 12 '14 at 15:59
  • 2
    Say John has £4 and David has £1. I really don't believe anyone would say "John is three times richer than/as rich as David" unless they were specifically intending to follow that "unacceptable" statement with exactly your distinction. Which would convince no-one, I feel, but it might pass a few minutes down the pub debating the issue. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 12 '14 at 16:07

They mean the same thing. Like another person said, using "as" is more versatile because you can put any adjective in there without changing it ("ten times as dedicated," "ten times as strong," "ten times as fast," etc.). But using "more" is perfectly understandable as well, but you would have to modify the adjectives.

  1. "Ten times more intelligent" = okay
  2. "Ten times more strong" = not okay
  3. "Ten times stronger" = okay
  4. "Ten times smarter" = okay

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