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omitting words

Discussion in 'English Only' started by amby, May 29, 2012.

  1. amby Senior Member

    chinese
    I found the following sentence while reading a newspaper and my question is if we can omit the phrase the rist of death as in the original text.

    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than for other people.

    As see in the above test, can we leave out the risk of death or can I add any words, such as

    The rist of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than the one for other people.

    My teacher says if the meaning is clear, we can leave out some words, but it is really confusing.
     
  2. maggie.lynn Junior Member

    Texas
    English - United States
    Hi amby,
    "The risk of death" is the main idea in the sentence. You definitely should not take it out, because without that phrase the sentence would have no meaning.
    With adding words, I'm not sure what is grammatically correct here, but I would not add in "the one".
    I hope that helped!
     
  3. amby Senior Member

    chinese
    Are you saying that after the word' than', I have to add ' the risk of death'? Also, why can't I say one, which refers to a noun or noun phrase?
     
  4. stormwreath Senior Member

    English - England
    Your question isn't very clear: are you asking if an original sentence like this:

    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than the risk of death for other people.

    can be shortened to the sentence in your original post:

    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than for other people.

    ?

    In which case the answer is yes, you can do that. Repeating the same idea in the same words in the same paragraph seems clumsy, unless it's done deliberately for rhetorical effect. Any of the following could work:

    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than it is for other people.
    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than the one for other people.
    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than for other people.

    In each sentence the words in bold stand in for the expression "the risk of death", and refer back to it earlier in the sentence.
     
  5. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    The two most natural ways to say this are what you have and a version with added words:

    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than for other people.
    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than it is for other people.

    A more formal way of saying it, probably less used in conversation, is:

    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than that of other people. ('that of', not 'that for')

    We would very rarely repeat the risk of death in full:

    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than the risk of death for other people. :thumbsdown:

    That one is possible if you want to give it a special emphasis, but normally we'd replace the second 'risk of death' with a pronoun, or reduce it more, as in your first example.
     
  6. maggie.lynn Junior Member

    Texas
    English - United States
    No, if you add that in, it would be repetitive. I'm saying that the first sentence was right as it was, and it does not need to be changed. You can say "the one" but I don't think it is needed in the sentence. I'm sorry that I'm not very good at explaining things yet! :)
     
  7. amby Senior Member

    chinese
    When you replace a noun, when do you say ' that' and when do you say' one' as in the following sentence?
    The risk of death for coffee drinkers is considerably lower than that of other people. ('that of', not 'that for')
    The cost of a house in Tokyo is less than one in New York.

    Sometimes I see ' that' and sometimes I see ' one'. What is the rule?
     

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