Skill 19: INVERT THE SUBJECT AND VERB WITH COMPARISONS




There have been a number of inverted comparisons on recent TOEFL tests, so you should be familiar with this structure. 

- My sister spends more hours in the office than John.
- My sister spends more hours in the office than John does.
- My sister spends more hours in the office than does John.

All three of these examples contain the comparison “more... than”, and all three are correct in English.

Example:

The results of the current experiment appear to be more consistent than _____ the results of any previous tests.
(A) them
(B) were
(C) they were
(D) were they

Answer:
In this example you should notice the comparison “more consistent than”, and you should also understand that “the results of the current experiment” is being compared with “the results of any previous tests”. Because “the results of any previous tests” is the subject, only a verb is needed; the best answer to this question is therefore answer (B). We know that it is possible for a subject and a verb to be inverted after a comparison, and in this case the subject “the results of any previous tests” comes after the verb were. 


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