# Is this sentence correct? How to parse it?

"Even a small bird has many more bones in its neck than in a tall giraffe. "

The sentence structure is quite weird, how to parse it?

• Dump the second "in" - no bird has bones in a giraffe... – Stephie May 26 '15 at 9:37
• @Stephie Interesting, I didn't even notice the second in... – Random May 26 '15 at 9:47

The result is "A giraffe has very few bones in its neck".
That said, the sentence could be simplified (but changes its sense) :

Even a bird has more bones than a giraffe

you add small to talk about the bird

you add many to enhance the difference (more bones means giraffe has 10 bones, and bird has 12, but many more will be a difference of 10 to 50)

you add in its neck to talk about the number of bones into the neck of each animal

you add tall to enhance the surprise about the fact that a giraffe has a tall neck, and so should have more bones

It finally makes Even a small bird has many more bones in its neck than a tall giraffe

The 2nd in of the initial answer is wrong, since it would mean that a bird has bones in a giraffe, but fewer than in bird's neck, which is non sense, a bird doesn't have any bones in a giraffe...

"Even a small bird has many more bones in its neck than in a tall giraffe. "

That sentence sounds weird because it mixes up (combines) two different but related patterns:

There are many more bones in the neck of a small bird than in the neck of a tall giraffe.

A small bird has more bones in its neck than a tall giraffe has (in its neck).

In the first pattern, with "there are", the prepositional phrases "in the neck of a small bird" and "in the neck of a tall giraffe" are juxtaposed on either side of "than".

In the second pattern, the subject-verb phrases "a small bird has..." and "a tall giraffe has..." are juxtaposed on either side of "than".