I always get confused when constructing sentences that make comparison. I can't decide which of the following would be correct. Could you please help

He really does know more about cars than even the engineers do.


He really does know more about cars than even the engineers.



In colloquial language, both are correct, and you can omit do.

But from a grammatical standpoint, I guess the former is the correct one, because technically we don't have a way of knowing whether engineers is the object or the subject, and the latter could be translated as:

He really does know more about cars than even about the engineers.

which is a problem!

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  • There is no ambiguiity. The elision issue you are calling out in the second sentence doesn't really exist, because "He really does know more about cars than even about the engineers." is not grammatically correct. You can't have "...than even about...". Leave out the "even", and he knows very little about engineers. Leave out "about" and he knows more than engineers know. – Adam Sep 2 '15 at 16:47
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    you're right in the current context, as it is not a common sense to know about engineers. but what about in the following case? "He really does know more about cars than even about his son." would you still say "than even about" is grammatically incorrect? – technophyle Sep 2 '15 at 18:04
  • I guess not. I don't like the sound of it, and I wouldn't say it, but I can't point at a specific problem. Must be a matter of style. – Adam Sep 2 '15 at 18:15
  • I agree it sounds a bit awkward, but still I can't find another better way to express the idea.. – technophyle Sep 2 '15 at 19:01
  • I don't know what the "even" is adding to the sentence. "He really does know more [about cars] than [about his son.]" The structure is " [Subject] [verb] more [X] than [Y]." When even sounds right to me, the structure is " [Subject1] [verb] more [X] than even [Subject2] ([same verb elided] [X elided] )" – Adam Sep 2 '15 at 19:20

Either is completely correct. Many english sentences can be shortened while still making sense.

"He really does know more than the engineers do"

"He really does know more than the engineers"

"He really does know more"

"He really does know."

"He really does"

All of these are full sentences and are correct as long as there's a given context.

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"He really does know more about cars than even engineers do." would be the correct grammar. In your sentences, you have "the" which precedes "engineers" which in use means "those engineers" or engineers you have known/seen.

And like technophyle said, you can omit do while speaking.

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