I do not regard you so much as a successful student as as a hardworking one?

Turkish
#1
Hi, is this sentence "I do not regard you so much as a successful student as as a hardworking one" grammatically correct? Two successive as sound weird but I am not sure if it is wrong.

Thanks
 

Uncle Jack

Senior Member
British English
#3
Hmm. "As as" certainly seems wrong, but I am not sure by what rule the two "as"s become one. I'll restate the problem because it is not obvious:
  • The basic construction with "so much" is "so much...as...". For example, "You are not so much a neighbour as a friend".
  • "Regard" in this usage requires an object (you) and an object complement introduced by "as". If you were to use "but" instead of "so much...as..." then two "as"s would be needed:
    "I do not regard you as a successful student but as a hardworking one."
So it would appear that both "so much" and "regard" need an "as" before "a hardworking one".
so much as...but as
I don't think this overcomes the problem, as it appears to say that the person is not a successful student, whereas the "so much...as..." construction says that the person is both, but the second thing overshadows the first.
 

Edinburgher

Senior Member
German/English bilingual
#4
Perhaps a way out of the problem is to put the "as" which "regard" requires in a position in which it can serve both alternatives simultaneously.
I regard you as not so much a successful student as a hardworking one.
The red "as" goes with "regard", the green one with "so much".
It still sounds horrible, and I would use something completely different. Perhaps change "regard as" to "consider to be", or change "not so much X as Y" to something like "more Y than X".
 
Turkish
#5
Hmm. "As as" certainly seems wrong, but I am not sure by what rule the two "as"s become one. I'll restate the problem because it is not obvious:
  • The basic construction with "so much" is "so much...as...". For example, "You are not so much a neighbour as a friend".
  • "Regard" in this usage requires an object (you) and an object complement introduced by "as". If you were to use "but" instead of "so much...as..." then two "as"s would be needed:
    "I do not regard you as a successful student but as a hardworking one."
So it would appear that both "so much" and "regard" need an "as" before "a hardworking one".

I don't think this overcomes the problem, as it appears to say that the person is not a successful student, whereas the "so much...as..." construction says that the person is both, but the second thing overshadows the first.
Perhaps a way out of the problem is to put the "as" which "regard" requires in a position in which it can serve both alternatives simultaneously.
I regard you as not so much a successful student as a hardworking one.
The red "as" goes with "regard", the green one with "so much".
It still sounds horrible, and I would use something completely different. Perhaps change "regard as" to "consider to be", or change "not so much X as Y" to something like "more Y than X".
What if we dispensed with the second as and said "I do not regard you so much as a successful student as a hardworking one"? Would you say this solves the problem?
 

Uncle Jack

Senior Member
British English
#6
I think that is how someone would say it, but there is still something a little odd. It sounds a little better with "so much" moved to the second noun phrase, although I don't know whether this makes a difference to the grammar:
I do not regard you as a successful student so much as a hardworking one"​
 
Turkish
#7
I think that is how someone would say it, but there is still something a little odd. It sounds a little better with "so much" moved to the second noun phrase, although I don't know whether this makes a difference to the grammar:
I do not regard you as a successful student so much as a hardworking one"​
I see. Thank you for your time.
 
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