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I have a question regarding えば〜ほど。My understanding of it is that it means, the more/less (property), the more/less (property).

If I want to say, the more experiences one has, the more ~ , should it be

経験があればあるほど、〜

or

経験が多ければ多いほど、〜

The second one seems slightly confusing to me, because in many example sentences that I see, such as

その本は、読めば読むほどわからなくなる The more you read the book, the less you will understand it.

the more/less part is embedded in the construction えば〜ほど, so the second option 経験が多ければ多いほど、〜 would translate into: The more more experiences one has. Am I getting it wrong?

Thanks in advance!

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1  
Both sound alright to me^^ –  Choko Apr 6 '13 at 13:48
    
How do you arrive at that translation? The literal translation would be something like "If experiences are many, to the extent that they are many..." –  dainichi Apr 8 '13 at 1:58

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Both examples are OK (I'd probably say 経験を積めば積むほど). In fact, if anything the first one sounds slightly off.

When used on verbs, the way I think of this expression is that it represents a repeating of an act, or to keep on doing something. So when I hear it with a verb like ある that represents a state of something, it feels little bit strange.

On adjectives, the way you think of it is that it represents a sliding scale and correlation of one property to another. As in 多ければ多いほどよい、美しければ美しいほど敵が増える、etc. What's embedded in the construction is the notion of correlation, and not more/less.

Another way to put it is that, unlike the English expression "the more experiences one has", "れば~ほど" does not work with nouns.

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"れば~ほど" does not work with nouns - Not true according to one of my grammar books. I'll have to find the example later since I don't have it with me, but it's something along the lines of ビジネスマンのほど〜 → "The better you are at being a business man ..." / "The more of a (good) business man you are ..." –  istrasci Apr 8 '13 at 15:00
    
ビジネスマンのほど~ doesn't make sense to me, but if you find an example, please let me know. –  Kohsuke Kawaguchi Apr 13 '13 at 14:55
    
From my book: 優れた営業マンほど客の声に耳を傾け、外の人の批判にも謙虚になれるものだ。 –  istrasci Apr 13 '13 at 19:05
    
There's no れば part in that sentence, though. –  Kohsuke Kawaguchi Apr 17 '13 at 3:15

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