comparative

No, not really, Why do many native speakers think they are the same?

They told me: In English, their ordinary, literary meanings are exactly the same. They’re just alternative ways of expressing that something is bigger than something else by three times in scale or extent.

Why do many native speakers think they are the same?

That's a fair question.  As with many such expressions, many speakers don't really think about the literal meaning of the words they're saying.

Another common example in English began with the expression "I couldn't care less", which is intended to convey the idea that the speaker does not care at all, so it would be literally impossible for him to care any less than he already does.  Another similar expression is the more sarcastic "as if I could care", whereby the speaker implies that it is not possible for him to care about the subject at hand.  So both expressions amount to more elaborate ways of saying "I don't care".  But over time, the two got confused, and now it is quite common for native speakers of English to say "I could care less", which is precisely the opposite of what they mean.  However, this expression has become so commonly used that its intended meaning is universally understood.

They told me: In English, their ordinary, literary meanings are exactly the same. They’re just alternative ways of expressing that something is bigger than something else by three times in scale or extent.

Coming back to your original question, my earlier response addressed the literal meanings of your two examples, as opposed to the literary (or ordinary) usage of the same.  In simpler sentences, I'm sure you can easily see the difference between "[comparative adjective] than" and "as [simple adjective] as".  For example, I might say:

1a: My friend's horse is larger than his dog.
1b: My friend's cat is as large as his dog.

I would be saying the cat and dog are equal in size, but that the horse is of a different size, specifically a greater size, than both the cat and the dog.

Now, if I were to say:

2a: Patrick's house is larger than mine by half.
2b: Sam's house is half as large as mine.

I could only understand that to mean that Patrick's house is three times the size of Sam's.

In parallel, your example (A) literally means the original expectation plus three times that amount, but (B) simply means three times the original expectation.

The larger the multiplier gets, though, the less significant the difference between the two expressions becomes.  The difference between

3a: X weighs a thousand times more than Y.

and

3b: X weighs a thousand times as much as Y.

is statistically irrelevant.

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