more than

fabxx

Member
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.

Thanks to kitenok and Pidginboy for their fabulous answers!