Which one of these adjectives is correct? I can see that both of them are being used, I'm just not sure which one is grammatically correct.
Are there any general rules to follow as to the use of one against the use of the other?
The basic rules of forming comparatives:
One syllable words take -er:
clear -> clearer sweet -> sweeter
Multisyllable words take "more":
incredible -> more incredible (not "incredibler") horrible -> more horrible (not "horribler")
Two-syllable words ending in consonant + y take "ier":
happy -> happier pretty -> prettier
Both "more clear" and "clearer" are acceptable:
I would have thought that "clearer" was more common, but I find "more clear than" is actually much more common on Google than "clearer than".
The question really ought to be whether to say "clearer" or "more clearly." That's the confusing one. I believe it is correct to say that "I see more clearly now that I've wiped my windshield", and incorrect to say "I see clearer now that I've wiped my windshield."
The problem is that comparative adverbs like "better" make you think that "clearer" is the correct comparative adverbial form. But you don't "see clear," you "see clearly."
"clearer" is a Germanic usage, while "more clear" is used in languages derived from Latin (cf. the French "plus clair").
I was taught as far back as elementary to never use clearer because it is not proper English. It is not a word and therefore should not be used. "More clear" should be the correct term to show the advancing superlative of the word "clear."
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