I am <the> richer for his acquaintance

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Senior Member
Chinese - China
I came to know Captain Nichols very well before I left Tahiti, and I am the richer for his acquaintance.

From The Moon and Sixpence

Hi. Why is there a “the” before the comparative “richer”?
Thank you.

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I believe it is a usage similar to many languages that use the definite article with an adjective without adding the understood noun.
    In this instance - I am the richer (person) for his acquaintance. 'I am richer for his acquaintance' means the same but the way he
    wrote it implies that the speaker does not consider Captain Nichols' life being enriched by knowing him, that he is somehow less than
    the captain.
    Last edited:
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