No less of a problem than it used to be

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dreamlike

Senior Member
Polish
Hi everyone,

this is just to err on the side of caution. Suppose someone asked me:

How's your German pronunciation coming along?

Would it be perfectly correct and natural to answer:

It's no less of a problem than it used to be.

I'm pretty sure it would, but it never hurts to ask.
 
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  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    For some reason I'd rather say "It's no less of a problem than it's always been"; but "It's less of a problem than it used to be" would be fine. I can't quite grasp why this is so.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thanks for your answer. If you can't grasp why this is so, how should I, but... I have a little theory. May it be because "it's always been", quite understandably :D, draws one attention to the fact that it's always been the case that one struggled with German pronunciation, wheras "used to be" construction is usually used to say that something is no longer the case? It wouldn't hold true in my context, but still.
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo.

    "It's no less of a problem than it used to be." (supposing it's grammatically correct) means "It's as problematic as it as always been"
    "It's less of a problem than it used to be." means the opposite, ie " It is less problematic than usual".

    GS
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Oh sure, Giorgo. I wasn't suggesting that the sentences were the same: I should have made it more clear. Sorry if my post was confusing.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I'm afraid I wouldn't regard the sentence as natural since (although correct) a) the wording is not immediately understandable and b) I would want to know what you meant by used to be (you have not given sufficient context to make this clear).
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    I think the sentence It's no less of a problem than it used to be, assuming a suitable context, of course, is perfectly okay. It's grammatical, there's nothing wrong with it, but there are easier and/or more idiomatic ways of expressing the same meaning, such as:
    "Well I haven't really made much progress with it ..."
    "I haven't really improved very much in that respect ..."
    "It's still pretty much at the same level as it used to be ..."
    "I'm still finding it as problematic/difficult as before ..." etc. etc. etc.
     

    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thanks for all your insights. It's the very expression "no less of a problem" that I wanted to use. I had to come up with some context, so it might not seem very natural. I can see how "no less of a problem than it used to be" might sound awkward to you, in which case I think I would do well to go for "It's no less of a problem than it's always been."

    Suppose I've always had difficulty with German pronunciation, and nothing changed much in this respect.
     

    xgll004

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I think the sentence It's no less of a problem than it used to be, assuming a suitable context, of course, is perfectly okay. It's grammatical, there's nothing wrong with it, but there are easier and/or more idiomatic ways of expressing the same meaning, such as:"Well I haven't really made much progress with it ...""I haven't really improved very much in that respect ...""It's still pretty much at the same level as it used to be ...""I'm still finding it as problematic/difficult as before ..." etc. etc. etc.
    good thread
     
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