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1. ..., unlike what I discovered here in America, any junior high school
student, as stupid as he might be, can precisely discuss the geographical and historical features of all countries in Africa, in addition to any other
country with which Guinea is interacting.
Can I just say "stupid as he might be" instead of "as stupid as he might be"?

2. As big a man as he is, Mr. Hennessey is dwarfed by the rusted metal, old wood and mounds of bluestone scrap of his past.
Can we say "Big man as he is" instead of "As big a man as he is"?

http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/84404-big-man-he.html
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Hi guys,

1. ..., unlike what I discovered here in America, any junior high school
student, as stupid as he might be, can precisely discuss the geographical and historical features of all countries in Africa, in addition to any other
country with which Guinea is interacting.
Can I just say "stupid as he might be" instead of "as stupid as he might be"?

Here's how I see the underlying idea.

'stupid as he may be' - Considers two possibilities: that he may be stupid, and that he may not be stupid.

'as stupid as he may be' - Considers the degree to which he may be stupid, eg he may not be stupid, he may be a little stupid, he may be very stupid.

Best wishes, Clive
AlpheccaStars
The big man that he is, Mr Hennessey....

Is the definite article necessary, optional or redudant?
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Hi,
The big man that he is, Mr Hennessey..

Is the definite article necessary, optional or redudant?

I always see it in the form of Big man that he is, Mr Hennessey..

I don't remember seeing it with an article.

It seems to me the same as appositive expressions like 'Fool that he is, Tom . . .'

Best wishes, Clive