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

cheerfulscience

Senior Member
Turkish
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
    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
    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".
     

    cheerfulscience

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    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
    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"​
     

    cheerfulscience

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    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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