a(n) quantity/number/amount of dishes 3 times greater

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The Lord of Gluttony

Senior Member

There were a(n) quantity/number/amount of dishes three times greater than there is now.

In the sentence above, can the blue part come before the red part, as the one below? Would the meaning or emphasis change? What would be the difference between the original one and the altered one?

There were three times greater a(n) quantity/number/amount of dishes than there is now.
Thank you
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  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    (There were a(n) quantity/number/amount of dishes three times greater than there is now. :cross:in my opinion)

    There were/was* three times greater THE quantity/number/amount of dishes than there is now.
    There was thrice big a(n) quantity/number/amount of dishes than there is now.

    You might be able to get away with it, but it would be massively clunky, and many people would wonder what you were on about.

    *depending on your personal prejudice.


    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Neither of these sentences sound natural, LoG. For starters, there's the agreement error (notice how you have a plural verb at the beginning and a singular verb at the end). And this just isn't how I would say this.

    I would say "There were three times this many dishes when I got here," for instance.

    Outside of scientific writing, phrases like "X times greater an amount" sound archaic, and the Google Books examples I found are from the 19th century. Here's an example:
    Often in a single dash of the ball, in a particular spot, the player lost eight times greater an amount than the sum staked. (http://books.google.com/books?id=Vcianov_LzgC&pg=RA1-PA37&dq=%22times+greater+an+amount%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OMnPUN_JEc_YigL8joHIAw&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22times%20greater%20an%20amount%22&f=false)
    Obviously both "eight times greater an amount than..." and "an amount eight times greater than..." are possible, and I don't see any difference in meaning between them.


    Senior Member
    I agree with Beryl and lucas-sp. Your inversion seems unnatural, and the entire sentence is needlessly wordy. There are easier ways of expressing the idea: There were three times as many dishes as there are now.
    Words like "quantity", "number", or "amount" don't really add anything to the meaning, so I think you'd do well to leave them out of sentences like the one in your example.


    Senior Member
    Hi, Lord of Gluttony.

    "There was three times greater a quantity of dishes than there is now" seems like a possible sentence to me, but I would probably never utter it. And I don't think I would ever say "an amount of dishes".

    It is hard to make sense out of your sentence in any order. "A quantity of dishes" and "a number of dishes" would usually refer to numerous dishes, plural, but you have "than there is now", singular, and after "dishes", "three times greater" seems to refer to the size of the dishes rather than to a quantity or number.

    Do you mean there were three times as many dishes, or three times more dishes = four times as many?

    Is there a reason you are asking about "greater a quantity" instead of "a greater quantity"?
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