The number and comparison

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Henry~

Senior Member
HK
The number of participants in this year is substantially more than _______?

I often feel very confused which words would be placed at the last of the sentence. Here's the options I can't differentiate:
Ever
the number of it before
the number of participants in the years before
it in the last years


I hope someone can help me point out which one is grammatical correct or (needs 'to' here?)give some possible suggestions.
 
  • LV4-26

    Senior Member
    You can use ever or something else. But note that the meaning wouldn't be quite the same.

    This year, the number of participants is substantially higher than the years before.

    This year, the number of participants is higher than ever.

    -- To me, substantially doesn't fit with ever, which is why I left it out in the second sentence. --

    Sentence #1 means that the number of participants is higher than the preceding years. Sentence #2 means that it's never been so high, which, I suppose, would come to the same in most cases?

    I also thought of a solution using this year's number of participants, but I wouldn't really know how to end the sentence. :) -- than the years before's? :eek: --

    Wait for the natives to come to our rescue.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I would chose "the number of participants in the years before." It is a comparison, and you need to name the thing being compared. In this case you cannot substitute the pronoun "it".

    Also:
    I hope someone can help me point out which one is grammatical correct or (needs 'to' here?) give some possible suggestions.
     

    GiGi.be

    Member
    België, Nederlands
    Stylistically speaking, you don't really want to repeat too many words in the same sentence. So I'd tend to agree with LV4-26. Another alternative is the following:

    This year, the number of participants is substantially higher than in previous years.
     

    Henry~

    Senior Member
    HK
    Stylistically speaking, you don't really want to repeat too many words in the same sentence. So I'd tend to agree with LV4-26. Another alternative is the following:

    This year, the number of participants is substantially higher than in previous years.
    Can in be skipped in this sentence?

    And, thanks to all people responsed me in this topic, this forum is really helpful to English studies!!
     

    GiGi.be

    Member
    België, Nederlands
    Can in be skipped in this sentence?

    And, thanks to all people responsed me in this topic, this forum is really helpful to English studies!!
    Actually, no. I'm sure you will hear/see the phrase "more ... than previous years" without the preposition in, but this is grammatically incorrect.
     

    Henry~

    Senior Member
    HK
    Actually, no. I'm sure you will hear/see the phrase "more ... than previous years" without the preposition in, but this is grammatically incorrect.
    Really thanks for your answer, but is it incorrect to place in before this year? If not, are they different? And the phrase after than will have any changes?

    In this year, the number of participants is substantially higher than in previous years.
    This year, the number of participants is substantially higher than in previous years.
     

    GiGi.be

    Member
    België, Nederlands
    Well, I’m not a grammarian, but this could be a rule of thumb regarding adverbials of time (i.e. a phrase answering the question “When?”). There might be some exceptions to that, but I can’t think of any right now.

    1. The simplest case is of course when you have a plain adverb, in which case you never use a preposition: yesterday, tomorrow, always, often, afterwards, now, soon…

    2. In other instances, you do need a preposition: on Friday, in December, in 1996, on this occasion, on his birthday, at the same time, at six o’clock, in the morning, on a cold afternoon…

    3. In a few instances, you can do without the preposition, namely after the words next, last, this, one, any, each, every, some, all in combination with a noun that indicates time: next Friday, last time, this time, one day, every year, any moment, all winter…

    4. Finally, you also don’t need a preposition if you use before, after, from, ago AFTER the noun: the day before yesterday, two days after Christmas, a month from now, a month ago…

    So to answer your question: you say this year (without in) and in previous years (with in).

    Hope this helps.
     

    Henry~

    Senior Member
    HK
    Well, I’m not a grammarian, but this could be a rule of thumb regarding adverbials of time (i.e. a phrase answering the question “When?”). There might be some exceptions to that, but I can’t think of any right now.

    1. The simplest case is of course when you have a plain adverb, in which case you never use a preposition: yesterday, tomorrow, always, often, afterwards, now, soon…

    2. In other instances, you do need a preposition: on Friday, in December, in 1996, on this occasion, on his birthday, at the same time, at six o’clock, in the morning, on a cold afternoon…

    3. In a few instances, you can do without the preposition, namely after the words next, last, this, one, any, each, every, some, all in combination with a noun that indicates time: next Friday, last time, this time, one day, every year, any moment, all winter…

    4. Finally, you also don’t need a preposition if you use before, after, from, ago AFTER the noun: the day before yesterday, two days after Christmas, a month from now, a month ago…

    So to answer your question: you say this year (without in) and in previous years (with in).

    Hope this helps.
    This really help, you have given an answer that I had longed very much for a long time. Thanks again.
     
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