## Reversing the clause pattern "～ほう～より"

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Consider the two sentences below:

(1) 私のほうが田中さんよりよく飲む。(I drink more than Mr. Tanaka.)

(2) 私はビールより酒のほうをよく飲む。(I drink more sake than beer.)

I think the pattern for the second one is a reverse of the first to put the direct object in closer proximity to the verb so the sentence feels smoother.

EDIT: By "reverse" I meant "reverse of each other" as opposed to "reverse of the "correct" construction". And I also learned that ほう precedes より by default in sentences involving comparison except when there is a direct object marked by を. (I may be wrong so please don't hesitate to correct me)

(Question) But if it is not a direct object, does it have any difference in meaning or nuance?

i.e. Instead of (1), I change the sentence to:

(1') 田中さんより私のほうがよく飲む。

(2) is not reversed at all. The direct object is in closer proximity to the verb, so that is the original (natural) position. I don't see how the discussion on (2) connects to (1) and (1'). – None – 2011-08-11T16:04:07.250

@sawa, I observed that より precedes ほう for (2) and (1'). I learned a "default" structure where ほう precedes より, and was wondering if it made a difference if the sentence was rearranged. – Flaw – 2011-08-11T16:11:24.197

You are mixing comparison of the subject (1, 1') and comparison of the direct object (2). They have different structures. Whether the order with ほう preceding is the default or not depends on which structure you are talking about. – None – 2011-08-11T16:22:26.417

oh so even though ほう and より are used, (1) and (2) are distinct patterns, and cannot be compared. What happens in the case of (1) vs (1') then? – Flaw – 2011-08-11T16:27:32.070

Linguistically, these are called scrambled phrases, and are (syntactically and semantically) different from topic. You can topicalize a phrase independent of scrambilng. 私のほうが田中さんよりはよく飲む, 私は田中さんよりよく飲む, 田中さんよりは私のほうがよく飲む。, 田中さんより私はよく飲む。. So I don't think your explanation is right. – None – 2011-08-12T16:47:59.527