Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
1) He is more a computer scientist than an engineer.
2) He is more of a computer scientist than an engineer.
3) They are more computer scientists than engineers.
4) He is more a computer scientist than you are.
5) He is more of a computer scientist than you are.
6) They are more computer scientists than you are.
7) They are more computer scientist than you are.
Which are grammatical?
Which are idiomatic?
I'm happy with 1, 3, and 5. Since I'm rejecting 2, you might wonder why
I accept "of" in 5 but not in 2.
The reason is that the "of" does make a subtle difference in the
meaning, although it's hard to explain why. The meaning of sentence 5 is
something like "maybe he's not a real computer scientist, but you are
even less qualified to call yourself a computer scientist".
In contrast, sentences 1 and 3 are less argumentative. They are neutral
in tone, and say something like "I suppose you could call them either
computer scientists or engineers", but on balance the computer science
I'm not sure why I don't like 6 and 7, but I don't.
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
More of a mathematician than an engineer, but my qualifications are in
engineering and my recent professional experience was in computer
Have taught computer science subjects.