In the previous High English quiz we were introduced to comparatives and we learnt how to use comparatives in sentences when we want to compare two or more elements. Since comparison involves two or more elements, avoiding repetition is important when using comparatives. . This is much easier than you might think!
When using comparatives we attribute different elements to the respective entities being compared. In order not to be misunderstood or misrepresented we tend to repeat things. Look at this sentence:
‘The skeleton of an ape resembles the skeleton of a human and it has the same number of teeth as a human has.’
Here we see that ‘skeleton’ and ‘human’ are repeated twice. This sentence can be rewritten avoiding repetition like so:
‘The skeleton of an ape resembles THAT OF a human and it has the same number of teeth as THAT OF THE LATTER.’
The rewritten sentence reads much better because we have avoided repetition. There are certain conventions to be followed when we want to avoid repetition. We can use auxiliary verbs to avoid repetition. When ‘be’ is an auxiliary verb we use an appropriate form that takes care of tense, person and number, as in this example:
‘She’s naturally relishing it as I am relishing it,’ can be changed to:
‘She’s naturally relishing it as I am.’
The second sentence avoids repetition without taking away the meaning or the proper reference to the people concerned. Similarly, we can also use an appropriate form of ‘be’ when it is the main verb, as in this example:
‘I think it’s a wonderful present, but my friend doesn’t think it’s a wonderful present,’ can be replaced with:
‘I think it’s a wonderful present, but my friend doesn’t.’
Here we have used ‘does not’ (doesn't) because the verb is in simple present. If the verb is in the simple past we use 'did' rather than 'do,' as in this example:
‘She booked a ticket for the matinee, and I also booked a ticket for the matinee,’ could be replaced by
‘She booked a ticket for the matinee, which is what I did, too.’
There are many ways of avoiding repetition when using comparatives and the quiz that follows shows you some of them.