Hong Kong does...rather than (ape)...

qizi

Senior Member
Chinese
It doesn’t matter whether Shanghai rules ,as long as Hong Kong does what it does best, rather than ape what it believes a competitor such as Shanghai might do, if and when it becomes the dominant commercial Chinese city.
I think "ape" should be "apes", since the subject is Hong Kong. Am I right?
Thank you.:)
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    "Ape" here is used as a verb that means "imitate". And it should be in the infinitive, just the way it is.

    PS. Oh, I see, you know it's a verb already. After "rather than" the verb should be in the infinitive, I think. I don't remember the rule, but it feels OK the way it is. :)
     
    Last edited:

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I have a thought that it might be a present subjunctive form- 3rd person singular has no 's'.

    I would rather he went to the doctor with all his aches and pains than come here expecting me to diagnose him.

    I would rather Shanghai ruled than Hong Kong ape what it thinks its competitors will be doing, instead of doing what it does best.

    I think 'went' and 'ruled' might be past subjunctives/ conditionals.
    It will be interesting to see what the Grammarians think

    :)
    Hermione
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    This is something like my thirty-fifth attempt to answer this question - so I'm just going to go for it, in the hope that someone will come along later and turn my ramblings into some sort of sense:(

    Here's what I wrote before...

    I agree with boozer: (1) "ape" is correct; and (2) it's a bare infinitive.

    After "rather than", the two main options are the bare infinitive and the gerund. And we normally choose between these depending on what comes before:

    I want to go out rather than stay in: to-infinitive, bare infinitive.
    I like going out rather than staying in: gerund, gerund.

    When there's no earlier 'pointer' we have a choice:
    I often go out rather than stay in:tick:
    I often go out rather than staying in:tick:

    In your original text, I would probably have said "aping" rather than "ape": but that's just a personal choice.
     
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