# Twice vs double?

5 replies
SENTENCE 1.
The number of undergraduate degrees in engineering awarded by colleges and universities in the United States increased by more than twice from 1978 to 1985.
(A) increased by more than twice
(B) increased more than two times
(C) more than doubled
(D) was more than doubled

Questions
1. what's wrong with option A ,B, D?
2. Why is option C better than A,B,D?
3. Is there any difference between more than twice and more than double?

SENTENCE 2.
1. A survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,376 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as much as 1977.

(A) twice as many as 1977

(B) double the figure for 1977

(C) a number double that of 1977's

Questions

1. what's wrong with option A ,C?
2. Why is option B better than A,C?

SENTENCE 3.

According to surveys by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 20 percent of young adults used cocaine in 1979, doubling those reported in the 1977 survey.

(A) doubling those reported in the 1977 survey

(B) to double the number the 1977 survey reported

(C) twice those the 1977 survey reported

(D) twice the number reported in the 1977 survey

Questions
1. What is wrong with option B,C,D
2. Is infinitive phrase(option B) after comma always wrong?
3. Why is option A better than B,C,D?

SENTENCE 4.

The number of people flying first class on domestic flights rose sharply in 1990, doubling the increase of the previous year.

A. doubling the increase of

B. twice as many as the increase in

C. twice as many as the increase of

Questions
1. What is wrong with option B,C
2. What is the difference between increase in and increase of?
3. Why is option A better than B,C?
Full Member389
Hi,

These two words have certain similarities, as you realize, and they can be used in a variety of ways. The correct one is often heavily dependent on the exact syntax of the sentence.

You have a great many questions, and I've tried to answer then quickly.

If you have further questions, plese offer a smaller niumber of sentences for review, And make them as simple as you can!

In my opinion, this is a very difficult test to give an English learner.

The number of undergraduate degrees in engineering awarded by colleges and universities in the United States increased by more than twice from 1978 to 1985.
(A) increased by more than twice 'by more than . . .'; requires a noun. 'Twice' is not a noun.

(B) increased more than two times This is not wrong, but it is much more common and natural to say 'twice'.
(C) more than doubled Fine
(D) was more than doubled The passive does not give a sensible meaning here. It makes the reader wonder 'was more than doubled by whom?

Questions
1. what's wrong with option A ,B, D?
2. Why is option C better than A,B,D?
3. Is there any difference between more than twice and more than double?

SENTENCE 2.
1. A survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,376 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as much as 1977.

(A) twice as many as 1977 This is OK. It would mean 'twice as many ministers'.

(B) double the figure for 1977

(C) a number double that of 1977's The problem here is 'that of 1977's'. 1977's what?

Questions

1. what's wrong with option A ,C?
2. Why is option B better than A,C?

SENTENCE 3.

According to surveys by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 20 percent of young adults used cocaine in 1979, doubling those reported in the 1977 survey.

(A) doubling those reported in the 1977 survey

(B) to double the number the 1977 survey reported I hesitate to say this is wrong, but 'to double' suggests an intention or direct result.

(C) twice those the 1977 survey reported I wouldn't say this is wrong.

(D) twice the number reported in the 1977 survey

The correct answer is A. I would choose D. What is doubled is the 20 percent, ie a number..

Questions
1. What is wrong with option B,C,D
2. Is infinitive phrase(option B) after comma always wrong?
3. Why is option A better than B,C,D?

SENTENCE 4.

The number of people flying first class on domestic flights rose sharply in 1990, doubling the increase of the previous year.

A. doubling the increase of This is an adverbial phrase modifying 'rose'.

B. twice as many as the increase in B and C are adjectival phrases, and it is not lear what they are meant to describe.

C. twice as many as the increase of

Questions
1. What is wrong with option B,C
2. What is the difference between increase in and increase of? Both prepositions are possible.
in = during of = belonging to

3. Why is option A better than B,C?

Clive

Veteran Member69,533
clive, thanks for your suggestion. lemme take first sentence.
Clive
The number of undergraduate degrees in engineering awarded by colleges and universities in the United Statesincreased by more than twice from 1978 to 1985.
(A) increased by more than twice 'by more than . . .'; requires a noun. 'Twice' is not a noun.

(B) increased more than two times This is not wrong, but it is much more common and natural to say 'twice'.
(C) more than doubled Fine
(D) was more than doubled The passive does not give a sensible meaning here. It makes the reader wonder 'was more than doubled by whom?

first of all , forgive me for my ignorance .I am still confused with option B ,C, D. I felt like all these sentence lack object for their respective action...For example Consider option B " increased more than two times from ..." I dont see the object for verb increased. similarly in option C verb doubled has no object. So, should we not need "that of" to refer back to the number?

Regarding option D , why do you think it needs an agent ? Can't we have an agentless passive ? for eg we frequently write The car was stolen. when we are not sure about who stole the care. Is my understanding wrong.

Hi,
clive, thanks for your suggestion. lemme take first sentence.

(missing image) Clive

The number of undergraduate degrees in engineering awarded by colleges and universities in the United Statesincreased by more than twice from 1978 to 1985.
(A) increased by more than twice 'by more than . . .'; requires a noun. 'Twice' is not a noun.

(B) increased more than two times This is not wrong, but it is much more common and natural to say 'twice'.
(C) more than doubled Fine
(D) was more than doubled The passive does not give a sensible meaning here. It makes the reader wonder 'was more than doubled by whom?

first of all , forgive me for my ignorance .I am still confused with option B ,C, D. I felt like all these sentence lack object for their respective action...For example Consider option B " increased more than two times from ..." I dont see the object for verb increased. similarly in option C verb doubled has no object. So, should we not need "that of" to refer back to the number? See my discussion below.

Regarding option D , why do you think it needs an agent ? I didn't say that it must have an agenyt. I meant that it is such an unusual thing to say that in my opinion it is likely to make the listener wonder why the passive was used.
Can't we have an agentless passive ? for eg we frequently write The car was stolen. when we are not sure about who stole the care. Is my understanding wrong.

First, let's examine these two words in terms of grammar.

The word double has 4 uses, ie adjective/adverb/noun/verb, In other words, the word can be used in a lot of ways.

The word twice is only an adverb. This means it can only be used in a limited number of ways.

Now let's look at some versions of a single and simpler example.

Here are some correct things that can be said
The number of students increased by seven.
The number of students increased by half.
The number of students increased by 20%.

The number of students increased by more than seven.
The number of students increased by more than half.
The number of students increased by more than 20%.

The underlined expressions are all nouns or noun phrases, because that is required by 'by'.

( That's why we say things like
eg He smiled slowly but not eg He smiled by slowly.
eg He smiled twice but not eg He smiled by twice)

We see the underlined expressions above are noun phrases because we can also say
eg Half are boys.
eg More than half are boys.

We can't say the following, because 'twice' is an adverb.

The number of students increased by twice.
The number of students increased by more than twice.

We see the error more clearly if we try to say
eg Twice are boys.
eg More than twice are boys.

Neither of these sentences is correct.

Do you have any questions about the above?

Clive

Thanks clive for superb explanation.

Second One
CliveA survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,376 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as many as 1977.

(A) twice as many as 1977 This is OK. It would mean 'twice as many ministers'.

I believe two things that make sense to compare should be parallel. In the given sentence, the comparison does not sound logical to me; it compares year 1977 to the number of female ministers in 1986 .For elliptical sentences my understanding is that we can't jump over words and we should literally be able to pick up a word or several contiguous words and drop them into the omitted place. However its not the case with my original sentence

A survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,376 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as many as [there were female ministers] [in] 1977.

[there were female ministers] [in] does not appear as contiguous block in previous part of the sentence? Also, I read like twice as many as is an appositive modifier so modifies nation's clergy... Do you think its correct? Please help..

HI,
Second One

We are running out of colours. I'll use underlined pink.

(missing image) Clive

A survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,376 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as many as 1977.

(A) twice as many as 1977 This is OK. It would mean 'twice as many ministers'.

I believe two things that make sense to compare should be parallel. Yes
In the given sentence, the comparison does not sound logical to me; it compares year 1977 to the number of female ministers in 1986 . It means 'twice as many (as in 1977').

For elliptical sentences my understanding is that we can't jump over words and we should literally be able to pick up a word or several contiguous words and drop them into the omitted place. However its not the case with my original sentence

A survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,376 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as many as [there were female ministers] [in] 1977.

[there were female ministers] [in] does not appear as contiguous block in previous part of the sentence? Also, I read like twice as many as is an appositive modifier so modifies nation's clergy... Do you think its correct? Please help

You could reword it as -

A survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,376 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as many female ministers ( as there were in 1977) .

Simpler example -

On Tuesday there were 20 students, twice as many (students) as on Monday.

Clive

A survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,376 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as many as [there were female ministers] [in] 1977.
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