a, I had to pay ten more dollars to get what I wanted.

b. I had to pay another ten dollars to get what I wanted.

c. I had to pay ten dollars in addition to what I had paid to get what I wanted.


d. I had to pay ten dollars more than I had paid to get what I wanted.

e. I had to pay ten dollars more than what I had paid to get what I wanted.


I think the sentences are all grammatical, but do the last two mean the same as the others?

I am not sure about that.

Let's say I had paid 40 dollars to John to get what I wanted. But then he said I had to pay an additional ten dollars. I had to pay him ten more dollars. The first three can be used in this case. What about the other two. If I use them in that context, wouldn't I be saying that I paid someone ten dollars more than what I had paid to John? Wouldn't I be saying that I paid someone 50 dollars?


Many thanks.

Original Post
azz posted:

I think the sentences are all grammatical, but do the last two mean the same as the others?

I am not sure about that.

Let's say I had paid 40 dollars to John to get what I wanted. But then he said I had to pay an additional ten dollars. I had to pay him ten more dollars. The first three can be used in this case. What about the other two. If I use them in that context, wouldn't I be saying that I paid someone ten dollars more than what I had paid to John? Wouldn't I be saying that I paid someone 50 dollars?

Hi, Azz,

I see your point and agree with you that (d) and (e) can mean that. However, they can also be used to mean what (a), (b), and (c) mean.

Imagine that you just paid John the $40. He might say, "You need to pay $10 more." The obvious meaning is that he needs to give John $10; the cost is $50.

But suppose you don't understand John. "Ten dollars more than what?" you ask. "You need to pay ten dollars more than (what) you just paid me," he would reply.

John would understand himself to be clarifying what he meant. I don't think there is any need for us to worry that he really might have wanted you to give him $90!

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