As + adjective + a/an + noun

Back in the days of the Roman Empire, being the top dog was just as risky a business and assassination was an occupational hazard.

The phrase “as risky a business”:
1. What does it mean? (or maybe the general meaning of this structure?)

  1. What is this structure? Is it a compare structure like [as + adj + as]? If yes, why don’t they write “as risky as a business” but “as risky a business”? If no, could you please explain it further?

  2. I have looked up in the dictionary and it said “risky business” = dangerous. If so, is it possible to paraphrase this to: ….being a top dog was a risky business? And as they write “risky a business” with “a” in between the phrase, won’t it make the meaning of this phrase different?
    Thank you.


It’s short for “as risky a business” [as it is now]. The comparason is not vs. “business” or some other business, but vs. some other time.

Source : Link , Question Author : Lans Tran , Answer Author : Brian Hitchcock

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