Page 1 of 1

more books than are in your library

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:07 am
by navi
1) There are more books by this author that I haven't read than are in your library.

Does this imply that I have not (yet) read any of the books by this author that are in your library?
Could it just mean that the number of books by this author that I haven't read is greater than the number of books by him that are in your library?

Gratefully,
Navi.

Re: more books than are in your library

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:40 pm
by Erik_Kowal
It just means that the number of books by this author that I haven't read is greater than the total number of books in your library.

Re: more books than are in your library

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:00 pm
by Phil White
Quite frankly, I would find it pretty impossible to make any sense of the sentence as it stands. I cannot really imagine a native speaker coming up with something like that.

Re: more books than are in your library

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:55 pm
by tony h
Phil White wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:00 pm
Quite frankly, I would find it pretty impossible to make any sense of the sentence as it stands. I cannot really imagine a native speaker coming up with something like that.
Well I have to!

"Nurse! The doc says you are keeping me in for another six weeks. If I give you my library ticket could you collect some books for me?"
"What are you reading?"
"I decided to try and read all the books by", he held up a book by Punyakante Wijenaike, "I don't know how to pronounce her name".

"Have you checked the hospital library? I am sure there are some books by her in there."
"Yes, it has got two books. There are more books by this author that I haven't read than are in your library".

Re: more books than are in your library

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:02 pm
by Phil White
It is possible to imagine a scenario in which a sentence structured in that way could mean one of the possible things it was intended to mean by the person who constructed it in the first place.

That still doesn't mean that any native speaker would actually construct that particular sentence. Two different things.

Re: more books than are in your library

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:22 am
by tony h
Phil White wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:02 pm
Two different things.
Quite so.