I'd like to know whether changing the position of "more..than" changes the meaning of a sentence.

Jake, as the captain, has won 5 matches for Australia.

Andrew, the captain of England, has won 3 matches for his team. Similarly, Dean is the captain of Canada, and he has won 2 games for his team.

Jake has won more matches for Australia than Andrew and Dean have for their respective teams.

a)Jake has won more matches for Australia than any other player has for his team.

b)Jake has won matches for Australia more than any other player has for his team.

Does "a" have the same meaning as "b"?

Also, the "his team" in the last part of the sentence confuses me. Does "his team" refer to Australia or does it refer to England and Canada?

Any help will be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


There are some differences in meaning when you change the placement, mainly in emphasis, but for your actual example sentence it doesn't change the essence of what's being said:

A) Jake's number of match wins while playing for Australia is greater than the number of match wins any other player has gained for the team that player belongs to.

B) Jake accomplishes match wins for Australia more often than any other player does for the team that player belongs to.

Because getting wins for your team more often than anyone else is the same thing as getting a greater number of wins for your team (because if you win more often, it stands to reason that your number of wins will be greater) the two sentences mean the same thing (As Adam Martin pointed out though, sentence B is an unnatural and awkward sentence structure and should be avoided if possible). However, in a different context, this may not have been the case. Consider:

C) I have eaten more biscuits than anyone else in my house has. (My total number of biscuits consumed exceeds that of any of the other people living with me)

D) I have eaten biscuits more than anyone else in my house has. (the number of occasions on which I have eaten biscuits is greater than that of any of the other people living with me, but I did not necessarily eat more biscuits than they did on those occasions).

As you can see, in some contexts [verb]ing more [noun]s than someone is not the same thing as [verb]ing [noun]s more than someone.

As for the question of which teams were being referred to with "his team", pronouns like "his" refer back to the last subject mentioned, which in this case is "any other player".

  • I don't know if it's just me, but the OP's option b is a very unnatural sentence structure that is confusing at best and should not be recommended. It also has a more vague connotation in terms of whether it refers to an explicit count or not. Mar 15, 2016 at 22:44
  • 1
    @AdamMartin It's certainly odd and not something I'd use myself, but it's referring to frequency of wins rather than an explicit count, as far as I can tell, and isn't necessarily ungrammatical. I'll edit to reflect that this isn't a recommended sentence structure, though, thanks. Mar 15, 2016 at 22:45
  • Thanks for the detailed answer.You've eliminated my doubts. Thanks again.
    – S.Khan
    Mar 15, 2016 at 22:52
  • Yeah, I just wanted to make sure the frequency v count thing was noted; it took me a little while to figure out that's why the sentence was bothering me. Great answer though! Mar 15, 2016 at 22:59
  • @AdamMartin Thanks! Feel free to upvote it. ;) </repwhore> After pondering your botherment, I think it's that there's an omitted "often" before "more" in the second sentence, which although grammatically sound does clip it a little. Mar 15, 2016 at 23:01

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