twice as much - as/ than?

stenka25

Senior Member
South Korea, Han-gul
Please read following sentence.
"Test conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound than do boys."

In the above sentence, can I use 'as' instead of 'than'?

If you can, can you tell me if there is any specific rule for that?
Thanks. Bae.
 
  • mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    Welcome to the forum, Bae.

    It should be as, rather than than.

    As much as is a comparison often used in English.

    Examples:
    He weighs as much as she does.
    The size is as big as an elephant.

    In your example, whoever wrote it thought because the girls responded twice as much as the boys, that their response was greater than the response of the boys--and used than--rather than as.

    It is an error that a non-speaker would make, but I would understand what they were saying.

    It should be:
    "Test conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound as do boys."
    Cheers!
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Please read following sentence.
    "Test conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound than do boys."

    In the above sentence, can I use 'as' instead of 'than'?

    If you can, can you tell me if there is any specific rule for that?
    Thanks. Bae.

    I don't know of any rules with regard to this but it needs to be "than" and not "as" in your sentence. The sentence is making a comparison - are baby girls more alert than baby boys to loud sounds? When making a comparison with different results on each side of the comparison, you use "than" ie:

    "I'm taller than you are"

    When making a comparison with equal results on each side, you would use "as" ie:

    "I'm as tall as you are"

    I'm sure there are exceptions to my examples but this would work as a rough guideline. But, in your sample sentence, you cannot use "as".
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Welcome to the forum, Bae.

    It should be as, rather than than.

    As much as is a comparison often used in English.

    Examples:
    He weighs as much as she does.
    The size is as big as an elephant.

    In your example, whoever wrote it thought because the girls responded twice as much as the boys, that their response was greater than the response of the boys--and used than--rather than as.

    It is an error that a non-speaker would make, but I would understand what they were saying.

    It should be:
    "Test conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound as do boys."
    Cheers!

    Now we've probably totally confused Stenka because we've given contrary advice! I will admit to being confused by your explanation, MJ - wasn't their response greater than the boys? I'm reading "twice as much" to mean "twice as often" and, in fact, the girls responded twice as much/often than did the boys...:confused:

    I think the use of the word "do" is what requires us to use "than"

    Let's simplify the sentence and use "an":

    "Baby girls respond twice as much to a loud sound as do boys" - as do boys what?...

    If you remove the word "do", you would use "as" ie:

    "Baby girls respond twice as much to a loud sound as boys."

    With the word "do", I really think it has to be "than" ie:

    "Baby girls respond twice as much to a loud sound than do boys."
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    That's why you should use as--and not than.

    You do not believe it should be:
    "Tests conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound as do boys"?

    I could see using than if the sentence was written as below:
    "Tests conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond twice more often to a loud sound than do baby boys."

    Then the construction is more-than construction, rather than an as-as construction.

    Cheers!
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    That's why you should use as--and not than.

    You do not believe it should be:
    "Tests conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound as boys"?

    I could see using than if the sentence was written as below:
    "Tests conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond twice more often to a loud sound than baby boys."

    Then the construction is more-than construction, rather than an as-as construction.

    Cheers!

    MJ, you've altered the original sentence and left out the word "do". By saying ".... as do boys", you've got an illogical sentence. It's like saying:

    "Tests conducted on fruit reveals that oranges rot almost twice as fast in the sun as do apples."

    "Oranges rot twice as fast as apples":tick:
    "Oranges rot twice as fast than do apples":tick:
    "Oranges rot twice as fast as do apples":cross:

    "...as do apples" means that apples rot twice as fast as oranges which doesn't make any sense in the context of the sentence.

    "...as do boys" means that boys respond almost twice as much as girls which doesn't make sense in the context of the sentence.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I get it--but would you say oranges rot twice as fast than apples?

    I thought that was the question in the thread.

    No. But, Stenka's original question was:

    "Test conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound than do boys."

    In the above sentence, can I use 'as' instead of 'than'?
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    No. But, Stenka's original question was:

    "Tests {needs to be plural} conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound than do boys."

    In the above sentence, can I use 'as' instead of 'than'?

    This is an instance of an inverted subject - verb structure in the final clause.

    Tests conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound than boys do.

    He has twice as much as he does. {good} He has twice as much than he does. {Not good} He has twice as much as does he. {Meaning confused with this one.} He has twice as much than does he. {might work} ?

    The man worked twice as much as did Mary. {Meaning scrambled again}. The man worked twice as much as Mary did. {good} The man worked twice as much than did Mary. {might work}? The man worked twice as much than Mary did. {not good}

    It's the inverted subject - verb order in the last clause that is causing the difficulty. As should be used, and the do moved after boys.

    Orange Blossom
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with Orange Blossom that it's the inversion of subject and verb that is causing the problem. I'm sure it's not incorrect, but it does sound a bit awkward. I, personally, would probably write the sentence without inversion: "Tests conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound as boys do."

    And yes, definitely "twice as much as":). In the oranges and apples examples, too:

    "Oranges rot twice as fast as apples"
    "Oranges rot twice as fast as apples do"

    Loob
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    "Test conducted on babies reveal that baby girls respond almost twice as much to a loud sound as boys (do)."

    Drop the "do." Why end a sentence with an understood verb?
     

    stenka25

    Senior Member
    South Korea, Han-gul
    I didn't know this many answers on the board.
    Thanks for your giving me your sincere answers.
    Thanks again for all of you.
     
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