What does "in proportion as" mean in these sentences? I've seen the expression "in proportion as" in different passages, but I don't understand what it means in the context, though I know what "in proportion" means. For example, in Common Sense by Thomas Paine: but as nothing but heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen, that 【in proportion as】 they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other... in Report on Manufactures by Alexander Hamilton: 【In proportion as】 the mind is accustomed to trace the intimate connexion of interest, which subsists between all the parts of a Society united under the same government--the infinite variety of channels which serve to Circulate the prosperity of each to and through the rest--in that proportion will it be little apt to be disturbed by solicitudes and Apprehensions which originate in local discriminations. These two sentences are extremely long. Could anyone please clarify the meaning of "in proportion as" in the context? Thank you sooooooooo much.
Jun 13, 2019 3:17 AM
Answers · 4
"Proportion" means a part it share in relation to the whole. It's similar in concept to fraction, or if in terms if 100, percent. the authors are saying that the effect of something will be equal to it's relation to the size of the whole. Immigrants will change, in the first quote, in the same ratio as they assimilate. in the second, people will be disturbed only in the proportion their minds follow the connection. the result follows in the same proportion as the cause.
June 13, 2019
It means "to the degree that" or "to the extent that". Note that your examples are very old, so the wording is old-fashioned.
June 13, 2019
it should be noted that "in proportion as" seems antiquated to me. "in proportion to" sound much better today.
June 13, 2019
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