10

You're as tall as your father.
I don't have as much money as you have.

If I omit the first 'as' is the sentence absurd or grammatically incorrect?

You're tall as your father.
I don't have much money as you have.

I'm a non-native speaker. The first 'as' isn't needed in my language. So I wonder if I omit the first 'as', is it possible or grammatically incorrect?

I know this question is somewhat silly, sorry about that, I'm studying English.

  • 5
    Don't worry about the question being silly. Your question is fine! And pretty much everyone asking questions here is learning English. That's what the site is here for :-) – snailplane Nov 21 '15 at 19:47
  • You may find dialects of English that informally omit the first as. Be vigilant to recognize what is or isn't slang! – corsiKa Nov 21 '15 at 21:41
  • 2
    Far from being "silly," questions like these remind me of how quirky the English language can be. I'm not surprised this is getting upvoted. – J.R. Nov 21 '15 at 23:22
17

Usually, the first "as" is needed. In both examples, omitting it makes things ambiguous; it's not clear whether you mean "You're tall, as your father [is]" (where the comma is important), or "You're [as] tall as your father", and so forth. It's not strictly ungrammatical, but there's no good reason to leave that word out.

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7

You're tall, like your father.

Both of you are tall (your height is above-average).

You're as tall as your father.

You and he are the same height (and you could be of average height, or shorter than average, or taller than average — the sentence does not indicate which).

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4

To make this comparison, you need the first "as". I think

You're tall as your father

would mean "You are tall, like your father is" which is slightly different from the sentence you want to translate.

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2

Both two and one "as" are correct but mean very different things.

Say I have a million dollars and you have two. We both have a lot of money, but I have less. I can say "I don't have as much money as you have". This compares the amounts of money that we have. One million is a lot, but it is less than two million.

Now say I have nothing and you have a million dollars. I don't have much money, but you have. So I can say "I don't have much money as you have". This doesn't compare the amounts of money, it states that one of us has a lot of money, and the other doesn't. It means "I don't have much money, but you have much money".

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0

In grammatically correct English the "as" is required in both cases. As others have noted, there are other constructs using commas, etc., that allow you to remove the first "as." It's also true that certain vernacular or colloquial affectations omit it...but the question being asked isn't "is this phrase understandable," it's "is this grammatically correct."

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0

I imagine the difference between English, which needs the as in "as much", and the asker's native language, which doesn't, is that "as" can be used in multiple ways in English:

  • In comparisons - and it's the "as" in "as much" that tells me this is setting up a comparison:

I don't have as much money as you have.

  • As an explanation, similar to "while", "because" or "so":

I don't have much money as you have not paid me for three months.

The latter is something people often say in colloquial speech, but it's sometimes frowned upon in formal writing and style guides.

As a native English speaker, "as much" primes me that this is a comparison. Without it, on hearing "I don't have much...", I think you're saying you don't have much in absolute terms, not compared to anything.

If I heard "I don't have much money as you have", I'd interpret the "as" as being an explanation for the fact you don't have much money - something like "I don't have much money as [a result of the fact that] you have...". I'd be wondering what I have that causes you to not have much money.


So for the sentence in the title, if I heard:

You're tall as your father

...nothing would make me think this is a comparison, and I'd expect the sentence to continue with an explanation of what it is about my father that causes me to be tall. For example:

You're tall as your father keeps sprinkling growth hormones onto your corn flakes each morning.

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-1

I am also a non-native speaker of English and I think it's okay to omit the first "as". You will be understood.

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  • Please edit to include more of an explanation of why this is correct; answers without explanation do not teach the patterns of the language well. – Nathan Tuggy Dec 31 '15 at 4:57
  • Please elaborate a little more. Maybe why you think it is correct ? – Varun Nair Dec 31 '15 at 5:17

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