the more comparative phrase

the more comparative phrase

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Point 56 in the category of DETERMINERS and articles is defined as

“the” in comparative phrases ‘more’, ‘less’, ‘worse’, ‘better’ * the more’, ‘less’, ‘worse’ *

to talk about one thing that is affected by another.

comparative clauses

A search on iWeb for the _rgr shows that ‘the more’ is much more common than ‘the less’

Unfortunately, iWeb does not allow a search for ‘the more * * * *’ because there are so many.  But it does allow us to look for lemmas for ‘less’.  What we find is that ‘likely’ is very common followed by a pronoun and BE.

1 [THE] [LESS] [LIKELY] [YOU] [BE] [TO] 1289
2 [THE] [LESS] [LIKELY] [THEY] [BE] [TO] 1028
3 [THE] [LESS] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [THAT] 722
4 [THE] [LESS] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [TO] 579
5 [THE] [LESS] [YOU] [WILL] [HAVE] [TO] 267
6 [THE] [LESS] [TIME] [YOU] [HAVE] [TO] 264
7 [THE] [LESS] [LIKELY] [YOU] [WILL] [BE] 198
8 [THE] [LESS] [LIKELY] [WE] [BE] [TO] 179
9 [THE] [LESS] [LIKELY] [IT] [WILL] [BE] 167
10 [THE] [LESS] [CHANCE] [YOU] [HAVE] [OF] 146

Therefore we can try a search for ‘The more likely _p _v * *’

1 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [YOU] [BE] [TO] [GET] 621
2 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [TO] [BE] 579
3 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [THAT] [THE] 543
4 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [THAT] [YOU] 530
5 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [YOU] [BE] [TO] [BE] 506
6 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [YOU] [BE] [TO] [HAVE] 355
7 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [THEY] [BE] [TO] [BE] 348
8 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [THAT] [THEY] 277
9 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [YOU] [BE] [TO] [FIND] 258
10 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [THEY] [WILL] [BE] [TO] 211
11 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [YOU] [WILL] [BE] [TO] 197
12 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [THAT] [A] 191
13 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [THEY] [BE] [TO] [HAVE] 187
14 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [THAT] [YOUR] 185
15 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [WILL] [BE] [THAT] 167
16 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [YOU] [WILL] 149
17 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [THAT] [] 144
18 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [YOU] [BE] [TO] [MAKE] 131

19 THE MORE LIKELY YOU are TO DEVELOP 127

 

20 [THE] [MORE] [LIKELY] [IT] [BE] [TO] [HAVE] 119

 

the _jjr

1 THE LOWER 447389 

*Looking at clusters to the right, we realise this is common as a description ie ‘the lower part of the screen’.

A check for comparative collocates up to 4 spaces to the right: 

HIGHER (but the structure found does not match) 1551
BETTER (there are hundreds of examples with nothing between,

again this does not match ‘to talk about one thing that is affected by another’)

1260

This requires that we manually look through clusters:

 THE LOWER THE VALUE , THE

149
THE LOWER THE SCORE , THE 134
THE LOWER THE RATIO , THE 96
THE LOWER THE TEMPERATURE , THE 96

 

2 THE BETTER 336470

THE BETTER OFF YOU WILL BE

608

 

3 THE HIGHER 238581

*’score’ and ‘value’ are common between ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ collocates.

  THE HIGHER THE NUMBER , THE 1683
 THE HIGHER THE SCORE , THE 513
THE HIGHER THE VALUE , THE 443
THE HIGHER YOU GO , THE (*here we have a clause)

293

4 THE LARGER 215024

5 THE OLDER 160039, 6 THE GREATER 149957, 7 THE SMALLER 147521, 8 THE BIGGER 112245, 9 THE LONGER 106472

10 THE EARLIER 92513

11 THE YOUNGER 86767

12 THE WIDER 82097

13 THE LATER 76663, 14 THE NEWER 65464

15 THE BROADER 51592 (no * * * * clusters to the right could be found)

16 THE FASTER 34636

17 THE WORSE 32584

18 THE SHORTER 31356, 19 THE EASIER 30881, 20 THE STRONGER 28470

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