What is the subject when it's omitted after the comparison?

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As market forces penetrate firms and bid up the value of attributes of labor that are more measurable than is the knowledge born of experience, it can be expected that trends in wages will not favor those whose main value lies in such experiential knowledge.

What is the subject after "than" for "is the knowledge born of experience"? How to complete this sentence? Here's my own try:

"As market forces penetrate firms and bid up the value of attributes of labor that are more measurable than (the value of) the knowledge born of experience is, it can be...."

Am I right when completing it in this way? Thanks!

Lulu Cai loo

Posted 2016-03-30T02:07:17.953

Reputation: 95

The subject of is is the knowledge born of experience. This part of the sentence can also be written ...than the knowledge born of experience is (measurable). There is no ellipsis of the value of. – Alan Carmack – 2016-03-30T02:15:42.440

Answers

1

This is an example of subject/verb inversion, not a case of ellipsis as you said. We use this kind of inversion while comparing subjects of the verb and not normally objects. We call it inversion in comparatives as in

Paul is more interested in Maths than is Mary.

You play golf better than do I.

So in this sentence, there is no ellipsis of the subject. The subject is actually there after is which is the knowledge born of experience. Actually a simpler way to write what is there in your example is

... more measurable than the knowledge born of experience is

Yuri

Posted 2016-03-30T02:07:17.953

Reputation: 7 422

Azad@,, Can we omit "is" and rewrite the sentence "Paul is more interested in Maths than Mary" ? – Gamal Thomas – 2016-03-30T07:51:41.603

1This type of inversion is optional. Yes, you can also say than Mary is. than Mary is very common, though it's not encouraged in formal written language. – Yuri – 2016-03-30T08:06:22.100

Thank you so much. I thought the sentence has no "is" now I know it is just omitted in spoken language. – Gamal Thomas – 2016-03-30T08:11:37.287

Glad you found it useful. – Yuri – 2016-03-30T08:14:14.803

4@GamalThomas Note that "Paul is more interested in Maths than Mary" can be ambiguous, as it can compare "Maths" with "Mary", as well as it can compare "Paul" with "Mary". The ambiguity is usually not a problem, though, as common sense usually can tell us which meaning was intended. ;-) – Damkerng T. – 2016-03-30T13:28:13.847

@Damkerng, thank you, its a very useful notice for me. – Gamal Thomas – 2016-03-30T16:30:23.530