The message to be conveyed is the following:

"When the film is thinner, the width is shorter".

Can someone explain to me if the following expression is correct (and if not, why not)?

Overall, thinner the film, shorter was the width.

Thank you.

  • We use the definite article: the. May 8, 2015 at 12:21
  • The thinner the film, the narrower the width.
    – user6951
    May 8, 2015 at 15:40

2 Answers 2


I think you are looking for the grammar structure

the + comparative adective + clause, + the + comparative adjective + clause

This is used to express the proportional relationship between what is described in the two clauses, exactly what you are saying in your sentence.

A few (random, possibly stupid) examples:

  • The hungrier I am, the more I eat.
  • The smaller the foot, the lesser the shoe size.
  • The happier I am, the louder I sing.

A quite famous saying is the shortened version:

So in your case that would be:

Overall, the thinner the film, the narrower the width.

  • Width is not short or long, it is narrow(er) as per the answer by @user19515 or broad(er)
    – user6951
    May 8, 2015 at 15:39
  • @pazzo: Correct. Was focused on grammar, forgot logic. Thanks.
    – Stephie
    May 8, 2015 at 16:08

As a dimensional inspector, width is generally accepted to be the cross-section of an object to be measured as opposed to length. Length is generally shortened, whereas width is generally narrowed.

  • Ouch. That's a bit of a mouthful...
    – Stephie
    May 8, 2015 at 14:42
  • Why is width a dimensional inspector?
    – Kreiri
    May 9, 2015 at 0:02

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