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I'm trying to understand what I misunderstand with this sentence example from jisho:

彼らのコミュニケーションは我々が考えてきたものよりはるかに複雑かもしれません。

I thought of it as roughly

their communication, being we have come to think its far from to being difficult

Which is wrong.

I think what I've got wrong is よりはるか…しれません but i'm not sure.

The translation given on jisho is

Their communication may be much more complex than we thought.

I've noted より is a particle so I will start there and see what it does to clause etc.

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Deleting はるかに

[彼らのコミュニケーション] は [我々が考えてきたもの] より [複雑] かもしれません。

is roughly of the form

[A] は [B] より [C] だ
[A] is more [C] than [B]

Putting the adverb はるかに back in and replacing だ (is) by かもしれません (might be), we get

彼らのコミュニケーションは我々が考えてきたものよりはるかに複雑かもしれません。
Their communication might be far more complex than we thought.

  • thanks for the input mate. I won't say i have it 100% but i can see where to focus. – user26596 Mar 17 '18 at 11:18
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    If you can take away the basic structure for より from this (second blockquote), you're in a good position to understand sentences similar to this one. – Earthliŋ Mar 17 '18 at 11:21
  • @Earthliŋ Any thoughts on why 我々が考えてきた is nominalised with もの? I thought that was for tangible things, but 'communication' sounds like an abstract concept to me. – user3856370 Mar 18 '18 at 7:34
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I like to think of より as the “compared to” tag (like how に comes after the location, so it is the location tag), so this sentence is “Compared to what we thought, it was more complex”.

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