have greater luster than do others

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Fahsai

New Member
Thai
Hi!
I came across this sentence :
Jewel experts claim that cultured pearls have greater luster than do uncultivated pearls harvested from the sea.

I'm just wondering why it wasn't written 'have greater luster than uncultivated pearls (...) do'

Is it some kind of inversion? If it isn't, which form do you consider more proper?

thank you in advance!
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    English is a flexible language. Sentences can be crafted in multiple ways.

    The only way to ask why somebody used a particular construction is to ask the person who wrote it.

    We can only speculate here and that's seldom, if ever, helpful.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Think of the alternative: " ... have greater luster than uncultivated pearls harvested from the sea do."
    In such a long sentence it's neater and easier to understand if "do" is close to its subject, "uncultivated pearls", and nearer also to "have", which is the real meaning of "do".

    Yes, it's inversion of subject and verb. It's quite common in writing, but probably unusual in everyday speech.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The sentence you quote (by the way, you forgot to tell us the source) sounds much better to me than the alternative. It's a matter of style.
     
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