What is the right way to convey the meaning that I want to say?

Your job is worse than mine, so I am not going to quit my job.

Is there a better choice to say this? Should I use less better than instead?

  • 2
    'less better' is not unlike a litotes. 'worse' is better than 'less better'
    – Mitch
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 1:54
  • 2
    But I don't think less better is worse; it's quite novel. And it smacks of political spin control. Commented May 6, 2013 at 3:27
  • @JohnLawler Awfully magnanimous of you to accept "less better" as having any validity at all. Do you really think it's grammatically reasonable? Commented May 6, 2013 at 5:40
  • 1
    It's a nonce expression, and they don't need to obey all the rules. It doesn't bear strict analysis of course: '80% is better than 40% (of something desirable); 65% is less better.' Sounds ridiculous; we'd rephrase. Commented May 6, 2013 at 8:56
  • 1
    How about, more ungood.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 19:03

4 Answers 4


Your alternatives might probably be worse than and not as good as. I know what you mean by less better than, but sadly, that's not a proper phrase.

Worse than puts your job a rank below my job, while it puts my job itself into the bad class.

Not as good as also places your job a rank below my job. However, in this case it places my job in the good class.

  • I do agree, but I think "worse" is fairly commonly used when making a comparison to something good. Commented May 6, 2013 at 6:45
  • 1
    @John M. Landsberg _ not when (a) they're both pretty good; (b) you don't want to sound disparaging. Commented May 6, 2013 at 8:58
  • @EdwinAshworth I concede the point. Commented May 6, 2013 at 9:02
  • According to me, the better choice is - Your job is not as good as mine, so I am not going to quit my job. Commented May 6, 2013 at 18:55

In my opinion, the only possible meaning of "less better" would be "better by a smaller margin." In other words, if X is a lot better than Z, and Y is just a little bit better than Z, then Y would be "less better" than X.

This is a construction for which I find little use.

Furthermore, note that "less better" does not mean "not as good." In my example, both X and Y are better than Z, albeit to different degrees. Neither one is worse. Therefore "less better" cannot be a synonym of "worse."

Simple answer: Do not use "less better" at all.

  • @Kris Sorry, Kris, I guess my brain is indeed shorting out, because I just don't get what you mean here. Did I write something terribly wrong? Commented May 6, 2013 at 6:15
  • Not at all. 21 minutes ago, we posted near identical answers.
    – Kris
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 6:16
  • @Kris Ah, okay, I see. Mine must have popped in as you were writing, so that neither of us saw the other before posting. But I'm glad to be in sync with you. :) Commented May 6, 2013 at 6:39

The phrase "less better" would never be appropriate in this context. "Better" is a comparative. At least in my opinion, anything which is "less better" needs to be "less better" than something. For example, if you were comparing Person A's job and Person B's job, to Person C's job, then you could write "A's job is less better than B's job [compared to C's job]."

In this case, you could use "less good," but that's an unusual formation. "Worse" however, is a much more common formation, and I would recommend it.


We can take a different spin on this for the same desired effect.

"Your job is lacking when compared to mine."

You can pinky-out and class things up with, "Your job is wanting when compared to mine."

We may as well add this to the mix, while we're at it: "Your job is unsuitable when compared to mine."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.