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Member
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Posts: 137
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Good afternoon, all.

Are all of the following sentences correct?

A) The birth rate in Egypt was slightly lower in 2000 compared to 1992.

B) The birth rate in Egypt was slightly lower in 2000 compared to that in 1992.

C) The birth rate in Egypt was slightly lower in 2000 than in 1992.


Thanks in advance.
Member
Location: Argentina
Posts: 3601
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Hi, Hussein,

I find (B) to be better than (A), and (C) to be fine.

Why do I say that (C) is fine rather than propose (D), which I also find to be correct?:

(D) The birth rate in Egypt was slightly lower in 2000 than that in 1992.

I think the reason is that "compared to" is adjectival and refers to "the birth rate": compared to the birth rate in 1992, the birth rate in 2000 was slightly lower. This makes the use of the pronoun "that" desirable.

Instead, "than" establishes a comparison between two adverbials, and this makes the pronoun unnecessary. In fact, we can consider that what is elided is a clause:

E) The birth rate in Egypt was slightly lower in 2000 than it was in 1992.
Member
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Posts: 137
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Wow! that's very interesting. Thank you very much, Gustavo.
David, Co-moderator
Member
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 10844
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Excellent answer, Gustavo. It's very thought-provoking. I personally find the use of "that" in (B) and (D) to be a bit awkward, if only because there is another construction that I would much more naturally use. I feel that it is worth mentioning:
    (F) The birth rate in Egypt was slightly lower in 2000 compared to what it was in 1992.
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