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grammar for comparing populations

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grammar for comparing populations

Postby laoajarn » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:24 am

Hello,

I am looking (hoping) for confirmation that the following (#1) is correct for comparing and indicating that the population of China is more than that of India:

#1) "The population of China is more than the population of India."

I understand that possibly a better way to say it would be:

#2) "China is more populous than India."

In the context of teaching comparatives and superlatives as is usually introduced early in elementary level texts, #2 is clearly closer to form than #1.

However, a student asked me if #1 was correct and I said "yes" (gulp). My question is, are they both correct? Is #1 as correct as #2? Is there anything wrong with #1 (syntactically, grammatically, semantically) ?

I'm certain I have heard people make this comparison in spoken English (#1) but maybe it's just me.

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

AjarnB
laoajarn
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Re: grammar for comparing populations

Postby laoajarn » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:54 am

Surprised nobody has chimed in. Perhaps over thinking this... but really just looking for any objections to #1 above. The student, having just learned comparatives and superlatives, was questioning the construction of #1 because it doesn't have an obvious adjective (the actual population numbers are the adjectives I would reckon). Whereas in #2 we have 'populous' as our adjective and more recognizable form of comparison for this student.

Thanks for any thoughts

AjarnB
laoajarn
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Re: grammar for comparing populations

Postby Clayton » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:46 am

Hey man,
#1 is understandable and it contains no grammatical problem but here is the point. In a natural and productive speaking we should always teach the students to seek for the economy of language.
I stead of saying:
The height of mountain A is more than the height of mountain B,
we make it more economic and straight to the point and say:
Mountain A is higher than Mountain B.

Situations like this most of the times happen due to inter-language. Students use the structure of their mother tongue to produce sentences English. So while ensuring your student that he hasn't made a mistake in production of language, you can motivate him to stick to #2 because it's a more natural way of speaking.

Cheers.
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Re: grammar for comparing populations

Postby laoajarn » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:04 am

Thanks Clayton! Makes good sense!

Cheers
laoajarn
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