Forum: General Forum
Start a New Topic 
  
Author
Comment
about the pattern "as...as"

Hello,


When the two sentences are combined using the pattern "as...as":

He runs fast. I run fast.

--->He runs as fast as I run fast.
--->He runs as fast as I do.
--->He runs as fast as I.

Is the procedure correct?

Does the first "as" function like "so" and the second like "like"?

Thanks for explaining this to me!!

Re: about the pattern "as...as"

No.

Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists in a 400m race all run fast.
Gold medal winner runs fast.
Silver medal winner runs fast.
Therefore
Gold medal winner runs as fast as Silver medal winner. (?) That would be a tie, and both would be awarded a gold medal.

Re: about the pattern "as...as"

My focus is on syntax, not on semantics. Thanks.

Re: about the pattern "as...as"

(1) He runs as fast as I run fast..
(2) He runs as fast as I do..
(3) He runs as fast as I..

The underlined expressions are called comparative clauses. The crucial property of comparative clauses is that they are structurally 'reduced' in some way, usually obligatorily.

The second "as" is a preposition which is in construction with the first "as" (called the 'governor') which is an adverb.

In (1), there is no reduction and consequently the sentence is unacceptable. In (2) the comparative clause has been reduced to just "I do", where "do" is a pro-form meaning "run fast", so it now becomes acceptable.

In (3) the comparative clause has been reduced still further to just the subject of the clause, a pronoun. But "I" is very formal and best replaced by "me":

(4) He runs as fast as me".

Here, "me" is not a reduced clause, but a pronoun functioning as object of the preposition "as".

Does that answer your question?



PaulM

Re: about the pattern "as...as"

Wow!!Thank you so much~~Paul!!

But, in some grammar books, the second "as" is thought to be a conjunction. Is it? Thanks!

Re: about the pattern "as...as"

Quote: HH CHen
Wow!!Thank you so much~~Paul!!

But, in some grammar books, the second "as" is thought to be a conjunction. Is it? Thanks!


Yes, traditional grammar analyses the second "as" as a conjunction because it introduces subordinate clauses.

But modern grammar rejects that analysis and calls it a preposition. After all, it is no different syntactically to the "as" in my example (4).

In other words, it's just a matter of complementation: it makes no sense to call "as" a conjunction when it introduces clauses like "as I do", but a preposition when it introduces noun phrases like "him".



PaulM

Re: about the pattern "as...as"

Thank you, Paul!

Then, in this case, "You look much more beautiful than my sister (does)",
can "than" be viewed as a preposition in modern grammar? thanks!

Re: about the pattern "as...as"

Quote: HH CHen
Thank you, Paul!

Then, in this case, "You look much more beautiful than my sister (does)",
can "than" be viewed as a preposition in modern grammar? thanks!


Yes, "than" is also called a preposition in modern grammar.

There is one progressive dictionary that follows modern grammar. See here for their definitions of "than" and "as":

https://simple.wiktionary.org/wiki/than

https://simple.wiktionary.org/wiki/as

I wouldn't worry too much about the different word categories. The most important thing is to understand the structure of comparative clauses, in particular the obligatory 'reduction' that I mentioned.



PaulM