36

It means something close to your option (2): Fat can’t change into muscle, just like (as you may already know) muscle can’t change into fat. Regardless of its scientific correctness, this is the meaning that the phrasing implies. Generally, phrases like “Eagles cannot swim any more than sharks can fly” are an idiomatic construction. They essentially always ...


25

As @P.E.Dant writes, dropping it is ellipsis. So if either option is less careful, it would be dropping, not adding, the second verb. (That said, both are very common in every register of speech.) The "redundant" option is often used to avoid ambiguity, because the other side of the comparison could be the subject or the object of a previous verb. Strong ...


20

Of the sentences you've suggested, the only one that makes sense is S's age is twice X's age. A more common way to say it would be: S is twice X's age. However, the sentence that I would use is: S is twice as old as X.


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.


16

Less, lesser, and littler are all comparative forms of little. They are used like this: little - littler - littlest when you mean "small in size" little - less - least when you mean "small in amount" little - lesser - least when you mean "inferior or smaller in importance" So if you mean one quantity or number is smaller than another, you say "less ...


11

There are far fewer than previously thought. It's not stated, but read the next sentence: The researchers say rather than tens of millions of species living on Earth, there could be between two and eight million. This suggests that the previous estimates were too high. Since we've only found "more than a million species" and we previously thought ...


11

So is traditionally classified as an ‘adverb’; but this is misleading. When it is used, as in your example, to modify an adjective or another adverb, it does not stand by itself but acts as a ‘pro-adverb’ (like a pro-noun) referring to another expression which defines its current meaning. In your example, for instance, so enjoyable ‘points’ to some ...


10

More is a relative adverb, a comparison. Thus, the more obvious signs are more obvious than the other signs, but they can still be extremely subtle. If it were very obvious signs than they would be obvious in a more absolute sense, but just being more obvious just means the other signs are even less obvious.


10

There are two possibilities stated here: (A) An event where fat changes into muscle (B) An event where muscle changes into fat The construction here ('not any more than') means the probability of (A) is lower than or equal to (B). That's all you can derive from analyzing the grammar, so both option 1. and 2. could be the truth. However, assuming that you ...


9

This is easy to stumble over because the construction without a negative, such a thing, is anomalous. Any word you might substitute for such—a word which plays the same syntactic role, such as similar or like or different or other—follows the article: a similar thing, a like thing, a different thing, another thing. And historically, in fact, a such thing ...


9

I can't think of a way of doing it while preserving the structure. You would need to say something like: It gets/is more painful to fall, the higher you fly.


8

In this kind of sentence, "as not" means "The verb takes place or doesn't take place about equally as often." They kill as many people as (they do) not (kill). A similar if not exactly the same omission might be this: — "Don't worry, Anne, you don't have to visit Mrs. Lynne if you don't want to." — "Oh, I'd just as soon see her as not!" That is, ...


7

That "rule" is a very crude approximation of what actually happens. For most 2-syllable adjectives, either form (more/most or -er/est) is at least "credible" to most if not all speakers, but for any specific word the relative frequency of one may be slightly or significantly greater. You can add extra "general principles". For instance, two-syllable ...


7

Neither of your first two sentences is correct—you must use the adverb well instead of the adjective good. With that correction, both sentences are grammatical, and neither is to be preferred. I could have done as well as you did. or I could have done as well as you. Better is the comparative grade for both good and well, so that part is OK; ...


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).


7

No need to make English harder than it is already. There is no rule prohibiting comparing groups of things with individual things. There are some cases where comparing a group to an individual can create an ambiguous statement: those five people have more money than I do. Does this mean that each of the five people has more money than I do, or that the ...


7

“A can’t B any more than C can D” means the same thing as “A can’t B just like C can’t D.” For either idiom to work, the audience must already know that C can’t D. With the “any more than” version, there is an added sense that thinking C can D is ridiculous, and therefore it is just as ridiculous to think that A can B, whereas the “just like” version is more ...


6

Words that have absolute meanings at the end of a gradable scale (as in silence meaning an absolute absence of sound) are sometimes used to emphasise or exaggerate the extent of something, especially informally. If it is an exaggeration it won't be used literally, so won't be at the absolute extreme end of a scale, so could be used comparatively. If it is ...


6

The first sentence is an ellipsis. The word ellipsis (plural ellipses) means "omission". Ellipses are common in comparative sentences like these. The first sentence without the ellipsis is: He runs faster than Robert runs. In this case, the ellipsis is a repetitive reduction of the verb run. The verb "belongs" with both sides of the comparison, and is ...


5

In ‘A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar’, Huddleston and Pullum write that there are three major subclasses of dependent clause. One of these subclasses is the comparative clause. Here’s their example: More people came than had been invited. They further note that this clause “has no overt subject at all.” Your sentence seems to be a similar ...


5

Your suggested sentence is definitely a good alternative. The only suggestion I might make, depending on the context, is that it may sound a bit more natural to use "cool" instead of "cold": It is not cool enough to handle. I say this because when you refer to something that is currently hot but is losing heat over time, you say the item is "cooling". ...


5

They're both very colloquial - as you probably guessed… dole out the beatings, not receive them Bearing in mind he's some kind of supposedly-retired tough guy, visiting his old boss, if I recall correctly, his 'job' would normally be to damage people for a living. To dole out is 'to give', rather informally, to usually more than one recipient. It has a ...


5

They both sound as good as each other and both sound slightly awkward. A more natural way to express this is "My pet is about the size of a rabbit." However, you'd be unlikely to start a conversation like this, so you're probably already talking about your pet, so you'd probably say "He/she/it's about the size of a rabbit."


5

I don't think you've missed anything as such. From the quotes you mentioned your rather thorough analysis sounds accurate to me. However, this is the sort of language device that some people will read a lot more meaning into than was intended to be there in the first place, as seen in the rabbis' reaction. This is related to the impression some people will ...


5

Your interpretations of all the meanings except 3 are correct: 3 means "he wishes he had joined medicine". You alternative ways of phrasing it (Q1.2 and Q4.2) are not correct, though. I would rather... This specifies who wants something to happen. ... they did something about it... This specifies who should do something. I would rather they ...


5

I'm afraid your two options are not equally good. :) Although "as good as each other" makes grammatical sense, we rarely compare things like that. We usually say "equally X" to say that they're equivalent. Intuitively, I think the two forms have different purposes. When you say "X is as good as Y", the purpose is to use Y as a point of comparison to tell ...


5

This sentence is a lot more complicated than it needs to be: that makes it hard for the writer to be sure that it is correct, and even harder for the reader to understand. If you absolutely need to write something as complicated as this (and IMHO you don't need to here), it's generally a good idea to use the least ambiguous equivalant way of expressing each ...


5

In standard English you are more likely to hear the second sentence than the first. Technically, the two sentences mean different things. My salary is twice higher than yours. This means I get paid three times your salary. My salary is twice as high as yours. This means I get paid two times your salary. In reality, if I heard the first sentence, I ...


4

To Complement @user2619 's answer I would like to complement @user2619 's answer with another piece of information that I managed to find in the Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English. In Table 12.3 "Special types of inversion in dependent clauses", I find a case that I think it is relevant to answer my question: comparative clauses ...


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