...have a child as wonderful as she does?

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huynhvantinhftu

Senior Member
Vietnamese
I read somewhere the sentence (1). But I am doubtful about its correctness.
And then I tried to make some other sentences (2), (3) and (4).
(1) I will never have a child as wonderful as she does. (compare my child with her child)
(2) I will never have as wonderful a child as she does. (compare my child with her child)
(3) I will never have a child (that is) as wonderful as her child. (compare my child with her child)
(4) I will never have a child (that is) as wonderful as she (is). (compare my child with her-just a female)

I wonder if these sentence are correct?
Many thanks for your time and helping.
 
  • snargleplax

    Senior Member
    English - Northwestern United States
    (1) is very close, but has a problem. The structure "as <descriptor> as" here creates a simile, which compares two things. What are you comparing? Two children. So we're comparing to "a (hypothetical) child" on the left side, and the thing we put on the right side has to be the same sort of thing. The way it's written, though, we're comparing a child to a verb, which doesn't make sense. So what you want instead is to refer to her child themselves, not to her action of having them.

    The obvious alteration then, changing it to say "as her child," brings about (3). (3) is grammatical but just slightly unnatural because it is repetitive. Having already said "child" once, there's no need to repeat the word -- all we need to express is that they are the child belonging to her. There's a personal possessive pronoun for this: "hers."

    So:

    (A) I will never have a child as wonderful as hers.

    I wouldn't add "that is" -- it's unnecessary and sounds stiff.

    (2) is grammatical and basically fine, but a little less graceful and more wordy than (A). You may wonder why this one is fine, when (1) wasn't. You'll note that in (2), the "a child" part has migrated from the left side where it was in (1), and become part of the "descriptor" section in the middle between "as" and "as." Since the noun is now on neither side, we're comparing verbs -- "I will have" on the left vs. "she does (have)" on the right. That all matches up fine because they're the same sort of thing and the meaning is all appropriate, so the sentence works. It's just not the best option, to my eye.

    (4) works fine, and you've correctly noted that the comparison is now directly with a female child, rather than a child referenced in terms of their female parent. The word "is" at the end should be included. Omitting it sounds pretentious, like someone trying and failing to sound old-fashioned and posh. Also once again omit "that is" for the same reason as above.
     

    huynhvantinhftu

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    (1) is very close, but has a problem. The structure "as <descriptor> as" here creates a simile, which compares two things. What are you comparing? Two children. So we're comparing to "a (hypothetical) child" on the left side, and the thing we put on the right side has to be the same sort of thing. The way it's written, though, we're comparing a child to a verb, which doesn't make sense. So what you want instead is to refer to her child themselves, not to her action of having them.

    The obvious alteration then, changing it to say "as her child," brings about (3). (3) is grammatical but just slightly unnatural because it is repetitive. Having already said "child" once, there's no need to repeat the word -- all we need to express is that they are the child belonging to her. There's a personal possessive pronoun for this: "hers."

    So:

    (A) I will never have a child as wonderful as hers.

    I wouldn't add "that is" -- it's unnecessary and sounds stiff.

    (2) is grammatical and basically fine, but a little less graceful and more wordy than (A). You may wonder why this one is fine, when (1) wasn't. You'll note that in (2), the "a child" part has migrated from the left side where it was in (1), and become part of the "descriptor" section in the middle between "as" and "as." Since the noun is now on neither side, we're comparing verbs -- "I will have" on the left vs. "she does (have)" on the right. That all matches up fine because they're the same sort of thing and the meaning is all appropriate, so the sentence works. It's just not the best option, to my eye.

    (4) works fine, and you've correctly noted that the comparison is now directly with a female child, rather than a child referenced in terms of their female parent. The word "is" at the end should be included. Omitting it sounds pretentious, like someone trying and failing to sound old-fashioned and posh. Also once again omit "that is" for the same reason as above.
    I thank you so much, snargleplax. Your observation is very informative.
     
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