more than


This question is from the Official SAT Guide Book page 724 #18

The survey [showed that] most shoppers who drive prefer the mall [more than] downtown stores [simply because] finding parking is [less difficult] at the mall. [no error]

Why is more than wrong? Isn't it used to compare that parking is easier to find at the mall than downtown stores? Can you please explain about 'more than' I don't really get when to use it correctly, and I can't distinguish when it shouldn't be used.
  • Hello again, fabxx.
    The usual structure would be "prefer X to Y." "More than" is understandable but incorrect. "I like X more than Y" is fine, because the amount that I like X and the amount that I like Y are relative quantities that can be compared.

    But "To prefer X more than Y" does not make sense in a sentence like this, because it is a logical absurdity to compare the amount that I prefer X and the amount that I prefer Y. Preference between two things is an absolute, not a relative, comparable quantity.
    I would say, " Most shoppers who drive prefer the mall to downtown stores since finding parking is less difficult at the mall."

    Alternatively, you can replace to with rather than or more than.