I read this on a blog:

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This sounds wrong to me, but I'm not sure which rule it breaks.

Surely it should have been "much less intensive...".

Is there any grammatical justification for using "extremely lesser"?

  • 2
    The entire passage is extremely poorly written. ‘Extremely lesser intensive’ seems to be the only really serious issue of grammar, per se, but the paragraph is rife with errors of style, logic, and mellifluence. I would not worry too much about finding grammatical errors in the writings of whoever wrote this. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 16:22
  • Double comparatives !! You can't use double comparitives !! For further explanation , search that rule...
    – Argot
    Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 9:57
  • @Argot, there is no double comparative in that sentence. ‘Extremely’ is not a comparative. Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 10:03
  • @janusBahsJacquet you are right that "their" is no double comparative in " extremely" but "lesser" is an example of double comparative.lesser is an adverb !
    – Argot
    Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 10:07
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    @Argot, ‘lesser’ is a comparative, ‘extremely’ is not; there is only one comparative. ‘Lesser’ is an adjective, not an adverb, and it is not in itself a double comparative, although it may look like one. And I think you mean ‘there’. Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 10:35

2 Answers 2


Is there any grammatical justification for using "extremely lesser"?

No. This usage of "lesser" is incorrect. "Lesser" is an adjective, and can only be attached to a noun. It cannot modify another adjective such as "intensive". The author should have simply written "less intensive".

The author seems to be striving to impress the reader but instead is unintendedly comical.


Of course, combining descriptors of high and opposite grade can never be standard. "much less" is much better

But it is not enough

"Intensive" has already a very high grade. You want to lower it, but limiting it will be more hmm... economical and therefore, better.

And can schedule some not so intensive service

Or let's simplify more:

And can schedule some milder/softer/calmer/more peaceful/more gentle variant [of service]

  • "Not so" is extremely informal, and would make the author seem to be not so serious. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 9:32
  • You mixed Not-So with "not so". The first is informal, even slang, the last is NOT informal in any way. It is simply not bureaucratic. Haven't you accustomed yourself to office slang too much?
    – Gangnus
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 9:47
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    @Gangnus: the words "not so", used as you have above, modifying an attributive adjective, are indeed viewed as quite informal in American English. Modifying a predicate adjective, they are viewed as standard English. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 15:11
  • Quite and extremely have different meanings aren't they. Of course, 'not so' is not formal, official. expression, but that doesn't mean you can't use it there. The word "water" is not a formal word, but can be used in formal documents. according to Collins Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, "informal... -3. (Grammar) .. appropriate to everyday conversational language rather than to formal written language." And blog is not a formal text document. And "diving head first" is definitely more informal and it IS there. Look at context.
    – Gangnus
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 15:23
  • @Gagnus: the entire post under question is poorly written, obviously by a non-native speaker who is not yet fluent in standard English. The use of the cliched metaphor "diving head-first" in a discussion of aquatic spa treatments is particularly inapt. One imagines a customer literally diving head-first into the bath. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 15:31

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