It's not as hard as I thought.

stephenlearner

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Does the as-clause in each sentence below omit a part ?

It's not as hard as I thought.
The bill was as large as we'd expected.
He didn't read it as carefully as he should have done.
I don't think it's as hot and humid today as it was yesterday.


I put what it omits in the parentheses. Are they correct?

It's not as hard as I thought (it was hard). It's not as hard as (what) I thought.
The bill was as large as we'd expected (it was large). The bill was as large as (what) we'd expected.
He didn't read it as carefully as he should have (read it carefully). He didn't read it as carefully as (what) he should have done.
I don't think it's as hot and humid today as it was (hot and humid) yesterday. I don't think it's as hot and humid today as (what) it was yesterday.

Thank you very much.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Short answer: no. These are not implied.

    Long answer (explanation):

    Many adjectives (in English) have a sliding scale. For example, temperatures are only called "hot" or "cold" in a specific context. Hot for Antarctica and cold for Brazil may be the same temperature on the "temperature scale".

    Comparatives (like "as big as" or "bigger than") comparing A and B say that A is higher on the scale than B. They do not say that A is high on the scale. They do not say that B is high on the scale. They only compare A and B on the scale.

    All 4 of your examples are like this. For example, English speakers often say "It is not as hard as I thought" to mean "It is easy." English speakers also say "It is not as hard as I thought" about hard things.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Let's say the hardest extent that an exam can reach is 5, and the easiest is 1. You thought it would be 3, but you found it was 2 after you took the exam. So you say "It's not as hard as I thought". Does it not mean "It's not as hard as (what) I thought? "What" refers to "it would be 3", the object of the verb "thought".
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "It is not as hard as I thought (that it would be)." The sentence means the same, with or without the 4 words in parentheses.

    You could say this if:
    - I thought it would be a 5, but it was a 4.
    - I thought it would be a 2, but it was a 1.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I thought that it would be a 5, but it was a 4.

    That I thought it would be a 5 is incorrect.
    In this clause "That I thought it would be a 5", "it would be a 5" can't be omitted.

    In "It is not as hard as I thought (that it would be)", however, why can "that it would be" be omitted?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It is omitted because it is repeated. In meaning (not correct word use) you have:
    It is not as hard
    I thought it would be more hard


    In a simple comparison, we only repeat the noun and omit the rest:
    A is not as hard as B.

    In the example we need "It was" on one part and "I thought it would be" in the other part, to express meaning. We don't repeat the rest.

    Omitting repeated words is very common in English:
    I will run to the end of the block. Suzie will too. (Suzie will run to the end of the block too.)

    I don't know the exact grammar rules about it.
     
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