6

What is the correct usage of the adjective "loud"?

  1. Please sing louder
  2. Please sing more loudly

I came across this in one of the quizzes at office, and as per them, the correct answer was option 2. I really don't get what's wrong with option 1.

6

They are both well-formed and idiomatic sentences. Whoever insisted on that quiz answer alone is trying to specify a very particular standard, where modifiers of verbs must outwardly look like an adverb (using '-ly'). But that is not the case as 'louder' works as an adverb, too.

1

Both; louder and more loudly are the same as loud is also an adverb not always an adjective. Example: Can you speak louder, please? in this case 'louder' modifies 'speak.'

-2

The answer is 2 because more loudly is an adverb modifying the verb sing while the adjective louder modifies nouns and noun phrases. Generally, people use the adjectival comparative form when what's required adverbial comparative form.

  1. Adjective: Loud (positive), louder (comparative), loudest (superlative)
  2. Adverb: Loudly (positive), more loudly (comparative), most loudly (superlative)

Personally, I think the comparative/superlative forms should be shared because I find that the -er/-est suffix very pleasing to the ear.

  • 1
    But OALD, CALD, Collins, and MW among others also attest to loud as an adverb, as in Yell as loud as you can. But MW says it is not used before a verb, where loudly would be expected. – choster Jul 28 '14 at 13:57
  • @choster, sorry for the delay in responding. Now outside of fixed phrases such as "laughed out loud" and "as loud as", does it occur as an adverb. Additionally, the "as...as" structure also allows for adverbs: "He yelled as loudly as he could." – Jasper Locke Jul 29 '14 at 13:26
-2

Loudly loudlier and loudliest are acceptable forms as well

  • 1
    Hi Thomas, welcome to EL&U. When answering a question, it is strongly recommended that you provide explanations and/or sources for what you're saying. – Adam Oct 8 '15 at 4:40
  • People may use them, but I don't think they are acceptable outside of very informal circumstances. – Mitch Oct 8 '15 at 15:01

protected by tchrist Feb 28 '16 at 17:15

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

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