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  1. After the handshake, it is easier to talk to each other than otherwise.

  2. After the handshake, it is easier to talk to each other than in a situation where we don't shake hands.

  3. It is easier to talk to each other in a situation where we've done handshake than in a situation where we haven't.

Whenever I try to make sentence that involves comparative grammar, I have no idea what I'm doing. So If you could help me get out of this tight spot, I would really appreciate it. Which one is the most common and right one?

  • 2
    What's the issue? You've made your comparatives just fine! Why not leave it there? "After the handshake, it's easier to talk to each other." Or "It's easier to talk to each other after the handshake." – JMB Mar 24 '15 at 10:01
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    He's trying to improve his grammar. Why not help? – Mamta D Mar 24 '15 at 10:34
  • For the type of listeners :) – Rong Nguyen Mar 25 '15 at 2:08
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After the handshake, it is easier to talk to each other than otherwise.

After the handshake, it is easier to talk to each other than in a situation where we don't shake hands.

It is easier to talk to each other in a situation where we've done handshake than in a situation where we haven't.

There's something amiss with each of these sentences.

In the first, it's not perfectly clear what "than otherwise" means, because you begin the sentence with "After". Otherwise could be "before the handshake". Otherwise could mean "if there is no handshake".

In the second, the items on either side of "easier" are not true comparands: after the handshake and in a situation where.

In the third, the comparands are correct (if somewhat wooden) but "done handshake" is not idiomatic.

It's easier to talk business after shaking hands. (or after a handshake)

P.S. If this sentence were in a discussion of the role of the handshake in Western culture, then you could say after the handshake.

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I think they all sound fine. None of them are better than the others.

I changed your wording from "doing the handshake" to "shaking hands", but that's not really the important part.

After shaking hands, it is easier to talk to each other than it would be otherwise.

After shaking hands, it is easier to talk to each other than it would be in a situation where we don't shake hands.

It is easier to talk to each other in a situation where we've shaken hands than in a situation where we haven't.

If I were writing this sentence myself, I would just shorten it to:

After shaking hands it is easier to talk to each other.

In this case, you don't need to specify the "before shaking hands" part. It is implied. You only need to specify if the speaker can't guess what you are comparing or what will happen.

I need to return my library books today, otherwise I'll have to pay a fine.

After telling the truth, you will feel better than you would in a situation where you had to keep lying.

I'd rather be in a situation where I had no money than in a situation where I had no friends.

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All three are grammatically correct. You should use the one you feel more comfortable with. Of your three I would go for 3, the flow of the sentence is clearer - you introduce the main subject first - the idea of easier speaking, and then explain. Beginning with 'After the handshake' leaves the audience guessing as to where you are going:

  • we parted ways
  • the deal was finalised
  • the ceremony began

It could be anything!

Placing 'easier' first telling your audience you are going to make a comparison from the onset of the sentence.

If I made my own version of your intended sentence, I would use:

It is easier to talk after a handshake than after not shaking hands.

(the 'to each other' bit in your sentences is confusing all by itself)

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    Native speakers won't say, "After we've done handshake." – Jim Reynolds Mar 24 '15 at 12:17
  • that's nothing to do with the comparative 'easier' which this Q is about – JonMark Perry Mar 24 '15 at 12:39

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