What is wrong with the following sentence?

I like the Christmas tree better than her.

When I said it I wanted to emphasize that I don't like her and that I think the Christmas tree is better than her in some ways, and obviously it was just a joke. I did not mean it in a way that I'm attracted to the Christmas tree. So does it sound like I like Christmas trees or something? Because people gave me crap about it and I don't understand why.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about English.
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:39
  • 2
    Please do not vandalise your posts. Dec 20, 2016 at 13:15
  • I think most people would find it confusing.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 20, 2016 at 13:17
  • Psst... I quite liked the question. The only upvote. The main focus shouldn't be comparing somebody to a Xmas tree, but whether one can say "I like A better than B" or should it always be: "I like A more than B"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 20, 2016 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


Heh, not only is your statement wrong on so many levels, your question is wrong, too.

1) Grammatically, your sentence is fine. Your meaning would have been more clear if you had said, "I like the Christmas tree more than I like her," but your sentence as it stands originally is not wrong. Grammatically.

2) Etiquette-wise, on the other hand, it just wasn't nice. Even if it were a joke, it was not a nice one.

3) ...and the problem is, it wasn't a joke because as you say in your post, you don't like her and other people, picking up on this vibe of not liking her, probably took your statement as more truth than farce which is why they assumed that you really are attracted to Christmas trees.

4) ...BUT the biggest problem of all is that you do not understand that making jokes about not liking people is not nice and tried to 1) gain support for your sentiment here by 2) attributing the misunderstanding to poor word-usage instead of to poor taste. Double-not-nice. Even if she were someone disliked by many people, it's still not nice to make fun of her.

Overall, just not nice.

Shame on you. 'Tis the season.

  • 1
    I was just asking about grammar because I wasn't sure. Thank you!
    – John
    Dec 20, 2016 at 13:28
  • @John Problem was, it wasn't an issue of grammar :/. It was an issue of etiquette. But it's good that you had asked, so we can all learn from your faux-pas, so thank you, too. Dec 22, 2016 at 10:01
  • Further to Teacher's analysis, another way of putting it is that almost any listener would take 'I like the Christmas tree better than her' to mean 'I like the Christmas tree better than she does' so clearly, you missed it both grammatically and idomatically… Jan 3, 2017 at 22:55

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