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A is more expensive than B.

I can't find the rule for how to ask correct questions beginning with the above-mentioned question words. I thought of two variants:

How many times more expensive is A than B? or How many times is A more expensive than B?

How much is A more expensive than B? Or How much more expensive is A than B?

If there are some other ways to express the same idea it will be hepful.

  • How much is A more expensive respect to B? – Alejandro Dec 27 '15 at 15:56
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    @Subjunctive - That sentence doesn't really make sense to me. Maybe you were thinking of How much more expensive is A with respect to B? but even that is clunky and wordy. How much more expensive is A than B? sounds fluent to me. – stangdon Dec 27 '15 at 16:26
  • @V.V, are you asking about correct word order (e.g. How much is A more expensive than B? vs How much more expensive is A than B?) or about difference between how much more and how many times more? – Sasha Dec 27 '15 at 16:33
  • @stangdon Yes, I wanted to put that one but it didn't let me edit. – Alejandro Dec 27 '15 at 16:41
  • I am asking about the correct word order because I met both variants serfing the net. And there may be other ways of asking the same. I know the difference perfectly. No grammar describes such questions, if any,tell me. I also need some proof that both structures or one of them are natural or grammatically correct. Thanks. – V.V. Dec 27 '15 at 18:37
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Consider replacing "expensive" with another adjective like "great" which has a simpler comparative "greater".

*How many times more expensive is A than B?

Wrong, like "how many times greater is A than B".

How many times is A more expensive than B?

Grammatically OK, if you are looking for a ratio. Like "how many times is 10 greater than 2"? The answer is 5.

How much is A more expensive than B?

*How much more expensive is A than B?

Following the same logic, the second sentence is incorrect. The first is borderline - I would consider it OK in casual speech. See below for possible improvement...

...some other ways to express the same idea...

An good way would be

  1. By how much is A more expensive than B?

This asks for a difference, not for a ratio. An answer could be "by $1".

  1. By how much is B cheaper than A?

  2. How expensive is A compared to B?

  • Wrong, like "how greater is A than B". No, it would be "how many times greater is A than B", so now you need somehow to prove that "how many times greater is A than B" is wrong. – Sasha Dec 27 '15 at 21:22
  • Good point, thanks. I corrected the answer accordingly. It is difficult to prove something wrong in English - but you are unlikely to find this sentence construction. – laugh Dec 27 '15 at 22:12
  • So the usual structure is considered to be correct (I had no doubts ), thanks. But if you just google "how many times bigger is" you will find that people prefer the second structure. Thanks for the additional material. Never met "by how much". What will the question be with "as"? "five times as expensive ". – V.V. Dec 28 '15 at 6:09
  • I can't think of a question that specifically provokes this kind of answer... in genearl, not every answer has a question. – laugh Dec 30 '15 at 16:59
  • @laugh, they have a similar question at ELU and they say the second version is correct! How much faster is the train than.../to... – V.V. Jan 4 '16 at 19:12
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