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Can't figure out what the correct way to construct the following sentence is. Please help.

He is probably not as influenced by his views as you are

Or

He is probably not as influenced as you are by his views.

Should 'as you are' be placed near to the first 'as' or at the end of the sentence.

Thanks.

  • The first sentence sounds much more natural to me (a native English speaker). – user8543 Sep 11 '15 at 11:02
  • I second that @user8543 – Maulik V Sep 11 '15 at 11:36
  • Whose views? We don't usually say someone is influenced by his own ideas! – Brian Hitchcock Sep 12 '15 at 10:04
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The closer some constructs together in the sentence, the stronger semantic relationship between them. By the same token, the farther they are from each other in the sentence/statement, the weaker the connection.

When you move "by his views" away from "he" and still leave it close to "you" -- as in the second sentence -- it alludes that "by his views" modifies mostly "you are [influenced]", but not "he is influenced", thus suggesting that "he is influenced" by something else rather than by his views. But by what? It's unclear, and therefore confusing.

When you place "by his views" in the middle, as in your first sentence, it, being essentially equidistant to "he" and "you", applies in the mind of the listener/reader to both, which is what you intended, I think.

  • Perfect. Thanks so much for this detailed explanation. – axomna Sep 11 '15 at 12:07
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I think that both sentences are almost equivalent in meaning, although there is some nuance there.

The first sentence places more emphasis on denying the influence of his views on him, since "as you are" is on the end. The second sentences places more emphasis on the comparison between the influence the views have on each person.

My only other question would be: Whose views are these? It might be more clear in the larger context of the piece you're writing, but from this sentence, I'm not sure if the views belong to the initial he in the sentence or someone else. And perhaps more philosophically, how can one not be influenced by his own views?

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