Physical stores are faced with additional running costs. Different with online stores that can operate on a small budget.
The amount of time children spent watching TV remained stable, meanwhile the amount of time they spent using computers increased dramatically.
In this post we contrast while and meanwhile in terms of grammatical usage and their usefulness as contrast signals.
Although some experts say that public projects would be less attractive than private projects. However, the government can do something about this.
Euthanasia may be a good solution for both of patients and their families.
Both/both of follows the same rule as some/some of, all/all of, most/most of, etc. Elsewhere on GuruEAP you can listen to a song that includes examples of most of these (but not, I now realise, both/both of!), plus you can find another post showing how this kind of grammar can be useful in IELTS task 1 writing when describing statistical data.
As usual I suggest you approach this problem lexically – in other words pay close attention to the words (lexis) immediately following these signals. Here are some examples. Continue reading
Cities offer larger salaries to people rather than small towns.
Here the comparison is between ‘salaries’ and ‘small towns’. The writer is saying that cities offer people large salaries and do not offer them small towns. Hmm. I would be quite happy if someone gave me a small town!
If we want to compare the salaries offered by cities with the salaries offered by small towns, then we need:
- Cities offer larger salaries compared to small towns.
(= salaries in cities vs. salaries in small towns)
And if you really must use rather than, then you could also write:
- Cities offer larger salaries rather than smaller salaries.
(= larger salaries vs. smaller salaries)
Most of the time instead of is synonymous with rather than:
- Cities offer larger salaries instead of smaller salaries.
However, instead of is quite often a replacement for something that came before:
- City companies now use electronic transfer instead of cash payment for salaries.
Next time make sure you’re comparing what you mean to compare!
These days gadgets do not consume power as much as they used to.
This should read:
- These days gadgets do not consume as much power as they used to.
Actually there are three grammar issues we need to consider here:
- as..as with verbs
- as..as with uncountable and plural count nouns
- as..as with singular count nouns
Before we examine these separately, here is a text to illustrate all three:
Life is so unfair. My friend can eat and drink as much as he likes and not get fat. He eats as many Big Macs as I eat. He drinks as much beer as I drink. However, he does not have as large a stomach as I have!
1. as..as with verbs
You have seen phrases like as much as, as far as, as long as, as fast as, etc. These phrases are used when far, long, fast behave as adverbs:
- He can eat and drink as much as he likes. (‘much’ affects the meaning of the verbs ‘eat’ and ‘drink’)
- I drinks as much as he likes. (‘much’ affects the meaning of the verb ‘drink’)
2. as..as with uncountable and plural count nouns
When far, long, fast, etc. behave as adjectives, then you need to change the word order:
- He eats as many Big Macs as I eat. (‘many’ affects the meaning of the noun ‘Big Macs’)
- He drinks as much beer as I drink. (‘much’ affects the meaning of the noun ‘beer’)
Notice that when you’re focusing on nouns, your only options are much (for uncountable nouns) and many (for plural countable nouns)!
Indonesians need to be careful here because in Bahasa Indonesia the uncountable noun is positioned before ‘as much as’, for example “Kalau anjing anda keracunan, kasih dia air kelapa sebanyak mungkin!”
3. as..as with singular count nouns
This can be difficult to translate into English if your first language does not have countable and uncountable nouns.
- He does not have as large a stomach as I have.
- I have joined a fitness centre and soon I will have as small a stomach as he has.
Notice the singular countable noun always has the article ‘a‘! Notice also that you are no longer restricted to many and much. Any adjective can be used!
Again, Indonesians need to be careful because in Bahasa Indonesia the singular count noun is positioned before ‘as much as‘, for example “Nanti kalau saya punya uang saya mau bikin rumah sebesar mungkin!”
Despite of its lucrative potential, tourism causes many new social problems.
This error is easy to understand. Students see examples of in spite of, which contains spite, and they generalise the same structure to make despite of, perhaps because it also contains spite, has the same number of syllables, and even has the same syllable stress. However, as we all know, English is not always so predictable!
The two closest corrections are:
- In spite of its lucrative potential, tourism causes many new social problems.
– In spite of + noun + comma + independent clause
- Despite its lucrative potential, tourism causes many new social problems.
– Despite (without of!) + noun + comma + independent clause
We could therefore write:
- Despite containing ‘spite’, ‘despite’ is not followed by ‘of’!
I experience the same problems with you.
This is direct translation from Bahasa Indonesia (sama dengan). It’s not incorrect but I’m fairly certain it’s not what you mean!
In English when you want to say that things are the same, the collocation is usually same as:
- I experience the same problems as you.
In this case you experience problem X, problem Y and problem Z, and I also experience problems X, Y and Z. We both experience the same problems, and we are sharing our problems with each other, as friends.
Same with communicates quite a different meaning:
- I experience the same problems with you.
In this case I experience problems with somebody else – for example someone lies to me and never helps me – and I experience the same problems with you – you also lie to me and never help me!
Very often this is expressed using ‘it‘:
- That person always lies to me and never helps me, and it’s the same with you.
Most of the time you mean same as, so think carefully next time you write same with!
Some Asians have less difficulty in intercultural communication.
If your reader speaks Indonesian he will understand that you’re translating kurang. Other readers, however, will begin to ask themselves:
Is he comparing Asians with some other group of people?
Is he comparing difficulty in intercultural communication with some other kind of difficulty?
Is he comparing difficulty in intercultural communication with some other kind of communication?
What is he comparing?!
If you’re an Indonesian translating kurang then you’re probably not comparing anything. You’re simply saying:
- Some Asians find intercultural communication easy.
As a general rule, when you use comparative adjectives, include the thing or things that you’re comparing in the same sentence. If you’re not comparing things, then don’t use a comparative adjective.