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Grammar 36 - Comparatives - Avoiding Repetition
"I've got a red balloon and my friend has got a red balloon." - How could you rewrite this sentence avoiding repetition?

Grammar 36 - Comparatives - Avoiding Repetition

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.

1.
"Raghav is not visiting the Venkatappa Art Gallery but Saurav is visiting the Venkatappa Art Gallery."
Rewrite this sentence avoiding repetition. Choose from the following options.
Raghav is not visiting the Venkatappa Art Gallery but Saurav is.
Raghav is not visiting the Venkatappa Art Gallery but Saurav is visit the Venkatappa Art Gallery.
Raghav is not visiting the Venkatappa Art Gallery but Saurav visit the gallery.
Raghav is not visiting the Venkatappa Art Gallery but Saurav visiting the gallery.
Note that just the verb 'is' is able to avoid so much of the repetition. In the other options the subject and verb don't agree
2.
"The ______ they realise their mistake, the wiser they emerge."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate first part choosing from the following options.
sooner
soon
soonest
more sooner
The comparatives in both parts of the sentence must match and hence 'sooner' is the correct answer, matching with 'wiser.' In option 2 the base form is used, which is wrong. In option 3 the superlative is used, which is wrong. In option 4 the 'more' is redundant as 'sooner' is the comparative form
3.
"I hope it works out. It worked out for me."
Rewrite this sentence avoiding repetition. Choose from the following options.
I hope it works out. It did for me.
I hope it works out. It did not for me.
I hope it works out. It do for me.
I hope it works out. It do not for me.
We can use the auxiliary verb in a tense which is different from the main verb when we use two different time frames. Option 2 is in negative form. In options 3 and 4 'do' is used rather than 'did' which is the wrong usage for 'it'. Option 4 is also in the negative
4.
"The older you become, the ______ you feel."
Fill up the blank with the appropriate second part choosing from the following options
weak
weakest
more weaker
weaker
The comparatives in both parts of the sentence must match and hence 'weaker' is the correct answer, matching with 'older.' In option 1 the base form is used, which is wrong. In option 2 the superlative is used, which is wrong. In option 3 the 'more' is redundant as 'weaker' is the comparative form
5.
"Arpana doesn't like Hindustani music but Trupti likes Hindustani music."
Rewrite this sentence avoiding repetition. Choose from the following options.
Arpana doesn't like Hindustani music but Trupti does.
Arpana doesn't like Hindustani music but Trupti likes it.
Arpana doesn't like Hindustani music but Trupti like it.
Both options 1 and 2 above are correct but option 3 is wrong.
Both options 1 and 2 are correct as they avoid repetition. However, option 1 avoids more (like/likes) by the use of just 'does'. In option 3 the subject and verb don't agree
6.
"I believe it's a wonderful achievement, but my family does not believe it's a wonderful achievement."
Rewrite this sentence avoiding repetition. Choose from the following options.
I believe it's a wonderful achievement, but my family does not.
I believe it's a wonderful achievement, but my family do not.
I believe it's a wonderful achievement, but my family believe not.
I believe it's a wonderful achievement, but my family not believe.
We have to use 'do' or 'does' when the verb is in simple present. In option 2, 'do' is the wrong usage. The other options are grammatically wrong. Note, when auxiliaries are used to avoid repetition, the auxiliary can be in the same tense as the first verb
7.
"The questions in the Science test weren't as easy as the questions in the Geography test." This sentence is rewritten as:
"The questions in the Science test weren't as easy as _____ in the Geography test."
Fill up the blank to complete the sentence to avoid repetition by choosing from the following options.
that
those
them
these
'Those' is the correct pronoun to be used in place of 'the questions'
8.
"She created a ruckus, and I created a ruckus, too."
Rewrite this sentence avoiding repetition. Choose from the following options.
She created a ruckus, and I does, too.
She created a ruckus, and I ruckus, too.
She created a ruckus, and I do, too.
She created a ruckus, and I did, too.
We have to use 'did' when the verb is in simple past. In option 1, 'does' is the wrong usage. In option 2, a verb is missing in the second part. In option 3, 'do' is the wrong usage. Note, when auxiliaries are used to avoid repetition, the auxiliary can be in the same tense as the first verb
9.
"She apparently changed jobs. A lot of people change jobs these days."
Rewrite these sentences avoiding repetition. Choose from the following options.
She apparently changed jobs. A lot of people do these days.
She apparently changed jobs. A lot of people does these days.
She apparently changed jobs. A lot of people did these days.
She apparently changed jobs. A lot of people did not these days.
We can use the auxiliary verb in a tense which is different from the main verb when we use two different time frames. In option 2 'does' is the wrong usage for 'people.' In the other options the auxiliary verb is not matching the time frame
10.
"The burglar thought he had picked the lock but he hadn't picked the lock."
Rewrite this sentence avoiding repetition. Choose from the following options.
The burglar thought he had picked the lock but he hadn't pick the lock.
The burglar thought he had picked the lock but he hadn't picking the lock.
The burglar thought he had picked the lock but he hadn't.
The burglar thought he had picked the lock but he hadn't picks the lock.
Note that just the verb 'hadn't' is able to avoid so much of the repetition. Another way of avoiding repetition could be 'The burglar thought he had picked the lock but he hadn't picked it' by using the pronoun 'it' in place of lock but the sentence in the correct answer does a better job of avoiding repetition. In the other options the subject and verb don't agree
Author:  V T Narendra

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