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This sentence

He considered himself unfit for the job, but even more for that task.

does not sound right because unfit has a negative meaning. I tried the other way:

He considered himself unfit for the job, but even less for that task.

but this looks like a contradictory sentence.

Is there any way to put this right, without repeating "unfit"?

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    So is badly wanting in both the sentences. I remember your having answered a question about ellipsis. That might be the case here as well. If you wish to keep out unfit the second time in your sentences, you have gotta retain so. And but and and might alter the meanings distinctly. – user405662 Dec 18 '20 at 15:00
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    replace more with moreso – 小奥利奥 Dec 18 '20 at 15:31
  • Just in one word? – fev Dec 18 '20 at 15:35
  • "but" is usually followed by something contradictory. You should use "and". And in the second version, you could say "and even less fit for the task". – Barmar Dec 18 '20 at 21:22
  • Interesting point. thank you – fev Dec 18 '20 at 21:26
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Consulting usage here might help bring about your agreeing with the following possibility.

  • He considered himself unfit for the job, but even more so for that task.
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More = to a greater or higher degree — often used with an adjective or adverb to form the comparative

Merriam Webster

The important point here is the use of degree. It tells us that, regardless of the adjective itself, there is a scale of degree.

more unfit = unfit to a greater degree.

And the most unfit = having the greatest degree of unfitness.

From this perspective, we could even say things like “-10 is more negative than -5” and it would be clear and correct, whereas “-10 is more than -5” is clearly wrong.

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