# The Precision Of 'Not As...As' Construction?

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To all native English speaking friends,

PART I:
Does 'A is not as strong as B' mean 'A is weaker than B' to you? If it does go to PART II, else go to Part III below and see if your reason is the same as mine; if not, please offer your thought.

PART II:
a) Why do you use 'not as strong as' instead of 'weaker'? and b) could you please offer a reason why you think that way?

PART III:
The reason I ask those questions is because the following logic does not support the above interpretation:

1. As strong as = equally strong.
2. Not as strong as = not (as strong as) = not (equally strong).
3. 'Not equally strong' lacks the logic to help us determine which / who is stronger than which / whom.

In short, if X ≠ Y, X < > Y; thus, one needs more information to decipher the exact meaning of NOT EQUAL operator.
Hi,

To all native English speaking friends,

PART I:
Does 'A is not as strong as B' mean 'A is weaker than B' to you? Yes. If it does go to PART II, else go to Part III below and see if your reason is the same as mine; if not, please offer your thought.

PART II:
a) Why do you use 'not as strong as' instead of 'weaker'? and b) could you please offer a reason why you think that way?

Generally speaking, it means I am thinking of both of them as strong. eg Both armies were strong, but the Roman army was stronger than the Greek army.

Perhaps you are wondering if 'A is not as strong as B' suggests to me the possibility that A is actually stronger than B? No, it doesn't, in terms of language. In logic, I suppose it would. But such language expressions are not bound by strict logic.

PART III:
The reason I ask those questions is because the following logic does not support the above interpretation:

1. As strong as = equally strong.
2. Not as strong as = not (as strong as) = not (equally strong).
3. 'Not equally strong' lacks the logic to help us determine which / who is stronger than which / whom.

In short, if X ≠ Y, X < > Y; thus, one needs more information to decipher the exact meaning of NOT EQUAL operator.

I look forward to more questions posed in this novel style.

Best wishes, Clive
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Hi,
I think we talked about this some time ago... it turned out "not as x as something" could mean either "more x than something" or "less x than something", but the usual meaning (used and intended 95% of the time), is "less x than something". But you can use it with the other meaning too. Look:

- Bush is not as dumb as Paris Hilton.
- Yeah, you are right! He's more!

Does that make sense?
KooyeenHi,
I think we talked about this some time ago... it turned out "not as x as something" could mean either "more x than something" or "less x than something", but the usual meaning (used and intended 95% of the time), is "less x than something". But you can use it with the other meaning too. Look:

- Bush is not as dumb as Paris Hilton.
- Yeah, you are right! He's more!

Does that make sense?

Hi Kooyeen,

YES! We did talk about this. 'Stronger than steel' was the topic, which was locked because of a heated debate. Now, I think everybody has been cooling down, I like to reopen the discussion. I have also been reading your exchange with the moderators on the issue of 'less young than'. It is very interesting to me too.

If both of us can wait for a few more inputs from others, I will share with you and everybody an opinion of mine regarding where the the naturalness of the native speakers come from for both issues in this same thread. Let's hope this will be a fun discussion instead of another battle field.

In fact, I am waiting for more answers to the important question, why people say, 'A is as not as strong as B' instead of 'A is weaker than B' when it is more efficient and more precise to use the latter instead of the former.

By the way, I wrote, 'To all native English speaking friends'. I dind't mean to exclude anybody. My intention is to establish a connection between naturalness to a logic. Naturalness, as I said before, is in the native speakers' blood. Therefore, it is more natural to address them. If anybody finds that statement rather offensive, please pardon me. That includes you too, Kooyeen.
ClivePART I:
Does 'A is not as strong as B' mean 'A is weaker than B' to you? Yes.

PART II:
a) Why do you use 'not as strong as' instead of 'weaker'? and b) could you please offer a reason why you think that way?

Generally speaking, it means I am thinking of both of them as strong. eg Both armies were strong, but the Roman army was stronger than the Greek army.

Perhaps you are wondering if 'A is not as strong as B' suggests to me the possibility that A is actually stronger than B? No, it doesn't, in terms of language. In logic, I suppose it would. But such language expressions are not bound by strict logic. (No, I did not wonder if you would think that way - It is not natural!)

Hi Clive,

In PART I, you answered YES. Why didn't you instinctively say, 'A is weaker than B' ?

If there is a little doubt in your thought that 'weaker' is not the right word, than why did you answer YES to PART I?

If you will forgive me, please give it your best to describe what is going on in your head. I hope if we do this exercise right, a lot of learners will benefit.
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Hoa ThaiTherefore, it is more natural to address them. If anybody finds that statement rather offensive, please pardon me. That includes you too, Kooyeen.
Hmm, I didn't even notice you wrote "To native speakers". Well, I wouldn't have felt offended anyway, LOL
Hoa ThaiMy intention is to establish a connection between naturalness to a logic.
Heh, that's pretty difficult. I'm afraid there's no real connection, LOL. I think you are trying to improve the same way I used to. I needed a lot of rules of thumb, so that I could understand by myself what was good and what was not. The problem is that I found out English is actually a little bit too complicated, and I ended up asking a lot of questions (I still ask anyway, LOL). One of the latest complications I've come across is the fact that I realized there are too many different kinds of English. There are big differences between the ways people speak. So when you get an answer here, it's just one opinion, from one person. There are maybe thousands of people who would disagree, but they don't post here, maybe then don't post anywhere, actually. One little example... if you ask here about "anyways", maybe you'll get an answer like "It's odd, some people might say it but it's incorrect and I cringe everytime I hear it". But I remember one time I was browsing through Youtube... I heard a lot of teenagers say "anyways" in a bunch of videos, a lot, and not even an "anyway". So maybe if you ask in a highschool in California, maybe most people would say it's "anyway" that sounds worse.

Sorry if that was off-topic... but I think you won't find a logical answer to everything. Well, at least, I tried, and I failed, and I don't know of anyone who succeeded, LOL "Not as x as something" is used to mean "less x than something" in Italian too. But that's the usual meaning, like in English. If you want to use it in a sentence to mean "more x than something", in Italian you can, and I'm sure you can in English as well.

That's all
Kooyeen"Not as x as something" is used to mean "less x than something" in Italian too. But that's the usual meaning, like in English. If you want to use it in a sentence to mean "more x than something", in Italian you can, and I'm sure you can in English as well.

That's all

Hi Kooyeen,

First, thank you for warning me not to go down the same road that you find frustrating.

By the way, I am not forcing / looking for the meaning "more x than something."

Just as a hint to friends who share your thought with me on this topic, do not try to reason why I ask my question. Please treat it as you know nothing about my logic in PART III. It was there in case you answer NO to PART I. The main question you should help me answer is what I asked in PART II, or better yet, the one I posted a bit earlier to Clive. You can do so too Kooyeen as you said Italian people think the same (i.e., 'less x than something') - Please.
Hoa ThaiPART I:
Does 'A is not as strong as B' mean 'A is weaker than B' to you? Most of the times, but not always. If it does go to PART II, else go to Part III below and see if your reason is the same as mine; if not, please offer your thought. I'm going to go to both.

PART II:
a) Why do you use 'not as strong as' instead of 'weaker'? and b) could you please offer a reason why you think that way?
When I say "weaker" I could be imagining a strength scale of 1 to 10. If A is strong 7, if the strength of B is less than 7, then B is weaker than A. Change the numbers as you want, the concept will remain the same.
When I say "not as strong as", I think I am already considering both things somewhat "strong", and then saying that A is not as strong as B, I am saying that although I am somehow considering A "strong", it's weaker than B anyway.
An example:
I earn more than a billion dollars a year, but I'm not as rich as Bill Gates (<-- I am rich, Bill is rich too, but I'm not as rich as him). I am poorer (<-- general statement: my income < Bill's income)
Bill Gates is not as poor as a homeless. (I am trying to consider Bill "poor", somehow, and for some reason. A context would make clear why you would want to do so. I'm sure you can imagine a context where that might be said)

PART III:
The reason I ask those questions is because the following logic does not support the above interpretation:

1. As strong as = equally strong.
2. Not as strong as = not (as strong as) = not (equally strong).
3. 'Not equally strong' lacks the logic to help us determine which / who is stronger than which / whom.

In short, if X ≠ Y, X < > Y; thus, one needs more information to decipher the exact meaning of NOT EQUAL operator. Yes, but this is not the usual meaning, the usual is in part II. This part, part III, refers to a meaning that is less common, and it's always clear from the context, using additional information and often different intonation or stress. Example:

- I'm afraid neither is going to win this fight. John Cena and Rey Mysterio are strong the same (<-- I'm not sure I can say this though, hmm)
- What? Are you crazy? John Cena is not as strong as Rey Mysterio... he's actually way stronger!!!

That's what I think. I hope I'm not wrong, LOL.
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Hi,

In PART I, you answered YES. Why didn't you instinctively say, 'A is weaker than B' ?

If there is a little doubt in your thought that 'weaker' is not the right word, than why did you answer YES to PART I?

If you will forgive me, please give it your best to describe what is going on in your head. I hope if we do this exercise right, a lot of learners will benefit.

I don't understand your response, because I thought I had already explained my thinking by saying this.

Generally speaking, it means I am thinking of both of them as strong. eg Both armies were strong, but the Roman army was stronger than the Greek army.

Actually, although it doesn't make any difference to my explanation of my thinking, I meant to write but the Greek army was not as strong as the Roman army.

Clive