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# In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to

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Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
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My answer is (B). It took me 56 seconds.

(A) After Richard Nixon left the White House, he became a former president himself. It is nonsensical to claim that he strove more assiduously than any former president, himself included.
(B) Corrected the issue in (A) and looks good. Keep for now.
(C) See (A)
(D) Keep for now. To be compared with (B).
(E) See (A)

Between (B) and (D), the general rule is to prefer adverb （more assiduously） than Prep+Noun (with more assiduousness), but we also notice the differences in
"than any other former president" (B)
and
"than did any other former president" (D)
Which one is better? (D) makes it clear that "any other former president" is subject and can be compared to "Richard Nixon" nicely. It might be slightly better than (B).
(B) does not preclude such interpretation that "Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than he strove to burnish any other former president". But any reasonable reader would not try to misinterpret it this way.
So, I went with (B).
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Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
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In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than did any former president.

I found this question a bit tough, because I have to choose between one set of difference in ADVERB (assiduously) and PREPOSITION + NOUN (with .... assiduousness) and another set in Comparison between ACTION (to burnish his image for history) and NOUN (former president).

A) more assiduously than did any former president -> "Richard Nixon" is already a former president, there is no point comparing with other people included himself in the comparison list.

B) more assiduously than any other former president -> "more assiduously" is correct. I am keeping it as of now.

C) with an assiduousness unmatched by any former president -> Same as A. Incorrect.

D) with more assiduousness than did any other former president -> Comparison wise "did" looks better. But, "with more assiduousness" is using preposition with NOUN, we can say "more assiduously", it would be better.

E) more assiduously in comparison to any former president -> Same as A. Incorrect.

So, I selected B.
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Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
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Quote:

In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than did any former president.

X strove to do something more than Y
The comparison is between X and Y and not their actions.

so, I think use of simple noun is ok to refer to Y.
I don't think we need "did" as in options A and D

A) more assiduously than did any former president Out for the above mentioned reason

B) more assiduously than any other former president Correct. The use of "Other" might seem odd, but this is fine here since Richard has already left the white house and now himself is a former president. So the comparison is between Richard and other former presidents.

C) with an assiduousness unmatched by any former president Very Awkward in the use of unmatched. Also, the choice doesn't specify the comparison with other presidents

D) with more assiduousness than did any other former president Out for the reason mentioned in A

E) more assiduously in comparison to any former president A comparison marker is already present "more". We do not need another comparison marker "comparison to".

(B)
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Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
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C and D can be eliminated because direct verbs are always preferred over nouns. Also remember the VAN rule when in doubt.

“More” requires a “than” . E eliminated.

A — I couldn’t find any logic for having the verb “did” in the sentence. I admit, I did not immediately think of the illogical “former president”. A bit of a dicy keep.

B - perfect. No errors. Eliminate A and go for B.

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Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
A) more assiduously than did any former president

B) more assiduously than any other former president

C) with an assiduousness unmatched by any former president

D) with more assiduousness than did any other former president

E) more assiduously in comparison to any former president

IMO B
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In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
The official explanation is here.
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Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
Hello generis!
I think the did verb plays a very imperative part in the sentence because it states that Richard Nixon did something for history more assiduously than any other former president did.
If we remove did then one interpretation of the sentence can be that Richard Nixon did something for history more assiduously than for any other former president.
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Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
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41396302717 wrote:
Hello generis!
I think the did verb plays a very imperative part in the sentence because it states that Richard Nixon did something for history more assiduously than any other former president did.
If we remove did then one interpretation of the sentence can be that Richard Nixon did something for history more assiduously than for any other former president.

Hi 41396302717 ,

Ellipsis (the omission of words) is a difficult subject, so I can understand why you believe what you do.

You need to persuade me that the sentence is ambiguous without the word did.
We can compare actions without repeating the verb or verb phrase the second time.
The test is whether the omission of the verb makes the sentence ambiguous.
If the omission does not create ambiguity, that omission is both correct and preferred.

Ellipsis is not an exact science.
As I noted, we do have a mandate: we can omit nouns, verbs, and even entire clauses from the second term in a comparison as long as no ambiguity exists in the comparison.

We can omit verb phrases even when we are comparing actions or the intensity of the action.
Correct: I eat more slowly than Andreas [eats].
No ambiguity exists.
We know what that the sentence means.

Wrong: I fear white supremacists more than Republicans.
Ambiguity exists.
Do I fear white supremacists more than [I fear] Republicans?
Or do I fear white supremacists more than Republicans [fear white supremacists]?
Corrected: I fear white supremacists more than Republicans do. [Do = fear white supremacists.]
In this instance, the word "do" is required to avoid ambiguity.

Correct: Hank Aaron strove harder to break Babe Ruth's home run record than any other drug-free baseball player in history.
(Mr. Aaron succeeded. He passed away last week.)
No ambiguity.
We know that Hank Aaron worked harder to do XYZ than any other baseball player worked hard to do XYZ.
Hank Aaron was not "striving hard" to break any other drug-free baseball player in history.
That sentence is ridiculous.

We face a similar situation in this sentence.
The second verb is implied because only one reasonable way to read the sentence exists.

The verb phrase "strove to burnish his reputation" is very specific.
Now, without the word "did," is the sentence really ambiguous?
If so, in what way?

There is no rule that says "If we compare two actions, the second verb must be repeated."
The measuring stick is clarity. Avoid ambiguity.

Correct, with omission (ellipsis): In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than any other former president.

The sentence avoids needless repetition and is not ambiguous.
There is zero chance that a native speaker might believe that Nixon strove to burnish "any other former president." No chance.
You can't burnish a person.

We do not need the verb "did" in this case.

In English, when the actions of two actors are compared, the first verb is often omitted after the second subject.
Repetition of verb phrases makes English prose incredibly tedious to read.

The use of did is grammatical but unnecessary.

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In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
generis wrote:
41396302717 wrote:
Hello generis!
I think the did verb plays a very imperative part in the sentence because it states that Richard Nixon did something for history more assiduously than any other former president did.
If we remove did then one interpretation of the sentence can be that Richard Nixon did something for history more assiduously than for any other former president.

Hi 41396302717 ,

Ellipsis (the omission of words) is a difficult subject, so I can understand why you believe what you do.

You need to persuade me that the sentence is ambiguous without the word did.
We can compare actions without repeating the verb or verb phrase the second time.
The test is whether the omission of the verb makes the sentence ambiguous.
If the omission does not create ambiguity, that omission is both correct and preferred.

Ellipsis is not an exact science.
As I noted, we do have a mandate: we can omit nouns, verbs, and even entire clauses from the second term in a comparison as long as no ambiguity exists in the comparison.

We can omit verb phrases even when we are comparing actions or the intensity of the action.
Correct: I eat more slowly than Andreas [eats].
No ambiguity exists.
We know what that the sentence means.

Wrong: I fear white supremacists more than Republicans.
Ambiguity exists.
Do I fear white supremacists more than [I fear] Republicans?
Or do I fear white supremacists more than Republicans [fear white supremacists]?
Corrected: I fear white supremacists more than Republicans do. [Do = fear white supremacists.]
In this instance, the word "do" is required to avoid ambiguity.

Correct: Hank Aaron strove harder to break Babe Ruth's home run record than any other drug-free baseball player in history.
(Mr. Aaron succeeded. He passed away last week.)
No ambiguity.
We know that Hank Aaron worked harder to do XYZ than any other baseball player worked hard to do XYZ.
Hank Aaron was not "striving hard" to break any other drug-free baseball player in history.
That sentence is ridiculous.

We face a similar situation in this sentence.
The second verb is implied because only one reasonable way to read the sentence exists.

The verb phrase "strove to burnish his reputation" is very specific.
Now, without the word "did," is the sentence really ambiguous?
If so, in what way?

There is no rule that says "If we compare two actions, the second verb must be repeated."
The measuring stick is clarity. Avoid ambiguity.

Correct, with omission (ellipsis): In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than any other former president.

The sentence avoids needless repetition and is not ambiguous.
There is zero chance that a native speaker might believe that Nixon strove to burnish "any other former president." No chance.
You can't burnish a person.

We do not need the verb "did" in this case.

In English, when the actions of two actors are compared, the first verb is often omitted after the second subject.
Repetition of verb phrases makes English prose incredibly tedious to read.

The use of did is grammatical but unnecessary.

Hello generis!
This is helpful but I still have the same doubt.
Can't a person interpret it like, In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than for any other former president."
This is the ambiguity I am talking about.
The other interpretation, which should also be the logical one in this case, can be "In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than any other former president did(strive to burnish)."

It would be really great if you could help me through.
Thank you.
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Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
41396302717 wrote:
generis wrote:
41396302717 wrote:
Hello generis!
I think the did verb plays a very imperative part in the sentence because it states that Richard Nixon did something for history more assiduously than any other former president did.
If we remove did then one interpretation of the sentence can be that Richard Nixon did something for history more assiduously than for any other former president.

Hi 41396302717 ,

Ellipsis (the omission of words) is a difficult subject, so I can understand why you believe what you do.

You need to persuade me that the sentence is ambiguous without the word did.
We can compare actions without repeating the verb or verb phrase the second time.
The test is whether the omission of the verb makes the sentence ambiguous.
If the omission does not create ambiguity, that omission is both correct and preferred.

Ellipsis is not an exact science.
As I noted, we do have a mandate: we can omit nouns, verbs, and even entire clauses from the second term in a comparison as long as no ambiguity exists in the comparison.

We can omit verb phrases even when we are comparing actions or the intensity of the action.
Correct: I eat more slowly than Andreas [eats].
No ambiguity exists.
We know what that the sentence means.

Wrong: I fear white supremacists more than Republicans.
Ambiguity exists.
Do I fear white supremacists more than [I fear] Republicans?
Or do I fear white supremacists more than Republicans [fear white supremacists]?
Corrected: I fear white supremacists more than Republicans do. [Do = fear white supremacists.]
In this instance, the word "do" is required to avoid ambiguity.

Correct: Hank Aaron strove harder to break Babe Ruth's home run record than any other drug-free baseball player in history.
(Mr. Aaron succeeded. He passed away last week.)
No ambiguity.
We know that Hank Aaron worked harder to do XYZ than any other baseball player worked hard to do XYZ.
Hank Aaron was not "striving hard" to break any other drug-free baseball player in history.
That sentence is ridiculous.

We face a similar situation in this sentence.
The second verb is implied because only one reasonable way to read the sentence exists.

The verb phrase "strove to burnish his reputation" is very specific.
Now, without the word "did," is the sentence really ambiguous?
If so, in what way?

There is no rule that says "If we compare two actions, the second verb must be repeated."
The measuring stick is clarity. Avoid ambiguity.

Correct, with omission (ellipsis): In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than any other former president.

The sentence avoids needless repetition and is not ambiguous.
There is zero chance that a native speaker might believe that Nixon strove to burnish "any other former president." No chance.
You can't burnish a person.

We do not need the verb "did" in this case.

In English, when the actions of two actors are compared, the first verb is often omitted after the second subject.
Repetition of verb phrases makes English prose incredibly tedious to read.

The use of did is grammatical but unnecessary.

Hello generis!
This is helpful but I still have the same doubt.
Can't a person interpret it like, In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than for any other former president."
This is the ambiguity I am talking about.
The other interpretation, which should also be the logical one in this case, can be "In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than any other former president did(strive to burnish)."

It would be really great if you could help me through.
Thank you.

Hi 41396302717,

If we closely look at the portion of the sentence which is not underlined "Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image" . It clearly states that Richard strove to burnish his image. Therefore it doesnt make any sense to say that he did something for his image and compare it with what he did for any other former president to burnish his image.

Hope that helps for anyone having the above question.
Re: In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to [#permalink]
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