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Elliptical Comparisons

Chapter:
Grammar
Author(s):

Stacy Christiansen

Elliptical Comparisons

The conjunction than often introduces an abridged expression (eg, “You are younger than I [am young]).” Correct placement of than is important to avoid ambiguity:

Unclear:

Women are more likely to take vitamins than men. [Are women more likely to consume vitamins than men are, or are women more likely to consume vitamins than they are to consume men?]

Rewritten:

Women are more likely than men to take vitamins.

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