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Question more or better?

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
which sentence sounds correct ?
(a) The more people know each other, the more crimes they can prevent.
(b) The better people know each other, the more crimes they can prevent.
 

hirashin

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Thank you all for the help.
With "more", I would prefer "The more people know about each other..."

Lothor and Michael2 have the same opinion. What do North-American members think about this?
 

Lothor

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Thank you all for the help.


Lothor and Michael2 have the same opinion. What do North-American members think about this?
Looking at mdchachi's examples, I think it's reasonable to also use 'take'.
 

nice gaijin

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"more" by itself sounds ok for spoken English, but I agree it would be "more correct" to say what you're quantifying:
  • "the more people know about each other," or
  • "the more people get to know each other.",
Since "know" is a verb you can qualify as well as quantify, b) works without modification in a literal sense, but I'd probably be upset if these were options on a test question, as I'd have to think hard about which one is technically right. As a native North American speaker, I wouldn't say that a) sounds wrong, just a little more colloquial.
 

Michael2

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I have to say the sentence itself doesn't make sense to me. I think I know what it's trying to say, but fewer crimes is a result of improved human interaction, not that it is actually us that are preventing them.
 

hirashin

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Hello Michael2, here's the text.

Neighbors' Day

Today, many people in big cities face the problem of isolation. They do not
know their neighbors well. If people are isolated, they cannot support each
other. To solve this problem, Neighbors' Day began in many cities in Europe.

It was first established in Paris in 2000. On Neighbors' Day, people get together
in their neighborhood tp share a good time. They bring some food and drinks
and have a party. Thanks to this event, people start to say hello to each other.
The better people know each other, the more crimes they can prevent. When
someone has a problem, it is easier to ask for help.

Because of these positive effects, now more than 1,000 cities around the world
celebrate Neighbors' Day. Some communities in Japan have also adopted the
concept of Neighbors' Day. Neighbors' Day makes people feel safe and comfortable.


Do you think this text does not make sense?

Hirashin
 

Michael2

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Hi Hirashin. The problem, in my opinion, is that because it uses the countable "crimes", it is explicitly saying people actually, directly prevent crimes, as in a person stopping a bank robbery while in progress, or catching someone touching a woman on a train. This is not what the idea of Crime Prevention is though, it is an intangible, overall, general reduction in crime. It's not having people act like policemen (who very rarely catch criminals in the act either)
I would make it general, or passive and say something like
"The more people know each other, the more crime goes down."
As it says later in the text, it is the effects that are important, not direct intervention.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for sharing your opinion, Michael2. It's interesting.
I wonder what other members think about this.
 

mdchachi

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I think the current text makes sense and the point is understandable. (Yes, if you read it literally it sounds like direct crime prevention but that's obviously not the author's intent.) I also agree a more passive statement would sound better. Maybe something like
The better/more people know each other, the more crimes can be prevented.
 
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