Equally (as) good as

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Kelly B, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Hi there!

    I'm having trouble with an explanation, and I'm hoping you can do better.:) I also wonder about possible differences in British vs American usage. This previous thread addresses the repetition issue, (as)....as, but I didn't find one addressing the use of equally with as.

    A fellow member in a translation forum would like to know whether he can say

    That TV is cheaper but equally good as this one.

    Here's what I said:

    I'd prefer That TV is cheaper but just as good as this one.

    If I were to use equally, I'd say
    That TV is cheaper than this one, but they are equally good.

    This is equally good as that is used very frequently, so I cannot say that it is wrong. So is this is equally as good as that, because as usually sounds better when used twice in a sentence: this is as good as that. I prefer the repetition of as.

    On the other hand, the beginning of the resulting phrase, equally as good as that, sounds awful to me. I'm not sure why, and I wish I could say this better...

  2. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Well, here's Fowler's Modern English Usage (2nd edition) on the subject of equally as:

    The use of equally as instead of either equally or as by itself is an illiterate tautology ... These should be corrected by using equally alone where a comparison is not expressed within the sentence, and as alone where it is.

    So Fowler's answer to the fellow-member would be "No":D
  3. Monkey F B I Senior Member

    Acton, MA
    English - USA
    Ah, so why must you use "as" twice?

    Well the first "as" is used to set the stage, per se. It means that television set A is of equal quality as television set B. Now, in order to compare two nouns, you need an adjective of course. But you cannot simply say "This TV is cheaper but just good this one" (leaving out the two 'as'). The "as" is a comparison word; it absolutely must be included. It tells you to what level the two things being compared are equivalent (in this case, perfectly). So with the first usage of "as", it is saying that the TV is comparable on some level to the adjective "good".

    The repetition of "as" is necessary because of the comparison, like the first one.

    So why does "This is equally good as that" sound ok? "Equally" is an adverb similar to "as". In fact, they're really interchangeable in some places when you think about it. However, for the sake of symmetry, I prefer to say "this is as good as that". Again, why is that? Well if you say "this is equally as good as that", you're really using two adverbs -- Kind of repetitive!

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Does it sound OK to you, Monkey?

    It doesn't sound at all OK to me...

    Maybe this is a BrE/AmE difference, because Kelly also comments that it's used very frequently.
  5. Monkey F B I Senior Member

    Acton, MA
    English - USA
    That's actually used here. I wouldn't say particularly frequently, but it's definitely been said once or twice before...

    I definitely wouldn't say it though.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  6. jamsmasher Member

    German/British English
    This looks right from a British perspective, too.
  7. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    The combination "equally" + adjective + "as" sounds unfamiliar to me. I would say "That tv is as good as this one" or "That tv is just as good as this one".

    I don't use "equally as good as" because the "equally" adds nothing to the meaning as I perceive it: "as good as" is enough.
  8. tmax Member

    "Equally" or "just" dont add anything to the meaning here but you could use them for stress eg. my tv is equally/ just as good as yours!

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