Questions tagged [comparatives]

The form of an adjective or adverb used to compare two or more things. English comparatives are formed with the suffixes -er/-est or the words more/most.

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142
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4answers
771k views

“More clear” vs “Clearer”: when to use “more” instead of “-er”?

Which one of these adjectives is correct? I can see that both of them are being used, I'm just not sure which one is grammatically correct. Are there any general rules to follow as to the use of one ...
38
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5answers
8k views

When should “farther” and “further” be used?

I know I learned the difference between the usage of farther and further in school, but I can never remember where each one should be used. Can someone help me out here?
27
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6answers
4k views

Are the rules regarding absolute modifiers too absolute?

A common grammar lesson that was taught to me in the US and that I've had to teach abroad in EFL classrooms is that we're not to use adverbs of emphasis with absolute modifiers, just as we're not ...
26
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4answers
329k views

Conundrum: “cleverer” or “more clever”, “simpler” or “more simple” etc

I know the rule for making the comparative and superlative form for two-syllable words ending in y, replace the -y with i and use -er and -est: hap.py → happier → (the) happiest ti.dy → tidier → (...
24
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7answers
86k views

“Like something more” or “like something better”

When people like something more than something else, it's common for me to hear them say they like it better than something else. Is this proper English? I've always thought the word more fits better, ...
24
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6answers
62k views

Is “curiouser” in fact a word (like in the famous phrase “curiouser and curiouser”)?

Is curiouser, in fact, a word?
23
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7answers
4k views

Why “Greater Toronto” rather than “Great Toronto”

Many big cities have their names preceded by Greater. Why not just Great? Does Greater indicate that the city is ambitious to expand itself? Why is Greater not used for country names such as Great ...
23
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5answers
9k views

Phrase: “Colder than a witch’s kiss!”

The following was used in a radio broadcast (The Adventures of Harry Lime, 14th December 1951, episode 20 “An Old Moorish Custom”) as Harry was hit on the back of his head with a rifle butt by a giant ...
20
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12answers
58k views

What is the difference between “quicker” and “faster”?

What is the correct word to use here and why: I will get there quicker [than you] vs. I will get there faster [than you] There must be similar adverbs for "slower".
19
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16answers
63k views

A word that means 'most important'?

I tried to find a single word that means "most important", but I couldn't. I want it to be able to express what's missing below: If you get hurt, the _ thing to do is to stay calm. It would need ...
16
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7answers
18k views

How can something be “fuller” or the “fullest”?

Consider the definition for full (Source): full [foo l] adjective, fuller, fullest. completely filled; containing all that can be held; filled to utmost capacity: a full cup. ...
16
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4answers
35k views

Speak Slower or Speak Slowlier?

AFAIK the correct grammar for "speak slow" is "speak slowly" (slowly being an adverb). Please correct me if I am mistaken. But in daily life I have not heard anyone saying "Speak slowlier". I think ...
16
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1answer
2k views

“not as” versus “less”

English speakers seem to prefer "less powerful" over "not as powerful", and "not as big" over "less big". There's at least a ten-to-one ratio in both cases—See this Google Ngram. There also seems to ...
14
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4answers
51k views

Smaller vs. less vs. lesser

I am confused as to some of the vocabulary that can be used to compare numbers and quantities, and would very much appreciate some clarification. I suppose it is safe to say that 1 is smaller than 2. ...
14
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4answers
122k views

“Much more easy” versus “much easier”

My mom and I are having a dispute on much more easy versus much easier. For example, consider the sentence: It's [much more easy]/[much easier] to do action X than action Y. I say that much easier ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Does English have half-graded antonyms?

In a recent question about comparatives, a dispute arose in the comments about gradable antonyms like useful/useless where English speakers strongly prefer to use comparative forms only for half of ...
13
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5answers
12k views

Morbid curiosity about “more better”

I have a grammatical question regarding one of the worst pieces of grammar imaginable. One of my students made the argument that better things could be considered a single item. Is it possible for the ...
13
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4answers
46k views

Is “very less” correct English?

Is using very less correct English? My friend suggests it should be very little. Are they both correct, or is there a difference?
13
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6answers
45k views

“Lower number” vs. “smaller number”

Is −9 a smaller number than −8? And is −9 a lower number than −8? What is the difference between lower and smaller here?
12
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8answers
16k views

Is “less good” acceptable?

So I just read "less good" on a random chat... I think this is incorrect, because less good's "proper" word would be worse, but then I thought: if I say "I aced the exam", it's correct. If I say "I ...
11
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9answers
3k views

Does “is potentially faster” imply “is not slower”?

Someone said to me, "X is potentially faster than Y". Without any clarification at that point, I immediately assumed that the speaker thought that X was at least not slower than Y. It was revealed in ...
11
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5answers
81k views

What's wrong with “stupider”?

On online boards I've seen some people claim that "stupider" is ungrammatical. I can't see any reason why it would be, and it seems like it's commonly used. Google Ngram Viewer And it's also in ...
11
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2answers
58k views

Is there a comparative form of “well”?

Is there a word that means "more well", in the same way that "better" means "more good"? In common parlance most people just use "better" for this purpose, but this sounds wrong and is a nagging ...
10
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5answers
2k views

Are “No more healthy than” and “No more big than” both OK?

I am Japanese and a teacher of English. Now I am at a loss at a topic on "Comparison." This sentence should be considered grammatically OK: Oversleeping is no more healthy than overeating. ...
10
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3answers
121k views

Is there a difference between “quicker” and “more quickly”

This is a follow up to this question: What is the difference between "quicker" and "faster"? "Quicker" is an adverb, as are "more" (in this context) and "quickly". So is there a ...
10
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1answer
3k views

Why is my English “worlds better” than yours but never “the best by worlds”?

In speech when making comparisons we can say: It is far better than It's way better than It's miles better than It's worlds better than For instance, British restaurant food is far/way/...
9
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5answers
7k views

Use of “The better”?

Disclamer: English isn't my first language. I learned during my English courses (a few years ago), that there is, as in French (which is my first language), a comparative and superlative version for ...
9
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4answers
115k views

Usage of 'much more'

Is saying much more grammatically correct? For instance, some purists argue that this is wrong: I'm much more comfortable with A than B and that it should be: I'm more comfortable with A than ...
9
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4answers
13k views

Can we use “elder to” as a comparative adjective?

As I understand, in comparative form of Adjectives, elder is used of persons, and older is used of both persons or things. One other feature of elder is that it is not used with than. However, it is ...
9
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7answers
2k views

What is the comparative of “I am broke”?

I am broke In slang it means to be without money, but how would I say (facetiously) that my economic situation is worse today? a. I am broker today b. I am more broke today Solution b) ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Late “latter” last

PREMISE: I am not asking about the difference in meaning or usage between latter and later; it is, therefore, not a duplicate of the older question: what is the difference between later and latter? ...
8
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5answers
8k views

Is “such a cooler” proper English?

I'm trying to say something like "that's such a cooler design". Is there more valid expression that expresses the same thing? Or is this okay English? I guess "that design is so much cooler" would ...
8
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7answers
18k views

Use of the superlative when only two items are present

When speaking with my mother a couple of days ago, I read to her a message I was sending to my cousin on her behalf ending with: "... the birthday of your youngest." [implying her child] She ...
8
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2answers
394 views

Is 'worse' the only comparative that has neither -er nor more?

There was a question recently about comparatives and it got me thinking about how comparatives are formed. There are those that take -er and those that use more to indicate comparison, but is worse ...
8
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6answers
16k views

the idiomatic use of “no more than” and “no less than”

I have questions about the use of no more than and no less than . The following is the item 14. phrase of the word more from COBUILD online dictionary. You use no more than or not more than when ...
7
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5answers
45k views

What is the opposite of “Could you talk a little louder”?

In a conversation, when I don't hear someone, I usually say: Could you talk a little louder please? However, what should I say if: Someone is being very loud in the other room when talking on ...
7
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3answers
25k views

Differences between “audio” and “sound”?

What is the difference between "audio" and "sound"? Is it possible that a beeping noise could be considered one but not the other?
7
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5answers
5k views

The comparative of “environmentally friendly”

When using the comparative with environmentally friendly would it be correct to say environmentally friendlier, or more environmentally friendly?
7
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4answers
9k views

Increasingly + positive or increasingly + comparative?

For instance, would you rather say "It became increasingly hard" or "It became increasingly harder"? From my understanding, both are possible, but their meaning is slightly different. The first ...
7
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4answers
30k views

two times or twice

In the 1980’s the rate of increase of the minority population of the United States was nearly twice as fast as it was in the 1970’s. In the 1980’s the rate of increase of the minority population of ...
6
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4answers
7k views

Is 'uniquer' a word?

My spellcheck doesn't complain about 'uniquer'. Is it a valid word? Since unique means "one of a kind", 'uniquer' has no valid definition, but that doesn't prevent it from being a valid dictionary ...
6
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4answers
15k views

Is using “more correct” a grammatical faux pas?

I caught myself saying "to be more correct", is this strictly possible given that something is usually correct or incorrect. If this is a grammatical faux pas, what is it called?
6
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5answers
921 views

formation of comparisons

Is it incorrect to phrase a comparison in the following way: Men are prone more than women to depression. Or must the adjective always follow more? Men are more prone than women to depression.
6
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2answers
1k views

“I am extremely smarter than you.”

Is "I am extremely smarter than you." a grammatically OK sentence? It sounds awkward, but is there a grammatical issue? Please note that I am not asking if it could sound better, nor am I asking for ...
6
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1answer
600 views

Comparative adjectives

I have a question concerning use of more in comparative sentences when used with adjectives. I was more furious about my cat's death than you thought I would be. Usually, or always, when more is ...
5
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3answers
2k views

comparative construction used with pronouns, especially 'her'

I was recently pulled up by a colleague when I made a statement along the lines of I am a better player than her. My colleague suggested the correct statement should be better player than she is ...
5
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3answers
15k views

Is it correct to use the comparative adjective “blacker?”

You can find bluer, redder, greener, and whiter in the dictionary, but not blacker. This seems mystifying. In his "El Paso" song, Marty Robbins sang, "Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina." ...
5
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1answer
24k views

“Much more simple” or “much more simpler” [closed]

Which is the correct sentence? It is much more simple to resolve the memory leak issues. It is much more simpler to resolve the memory leak issues.
5
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3answers
12k views

Is “oftener” obsolete?

Does any native speaker of the English Language ever use oftener instead of more often?
5
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2answers
2k views

Comparative adverbs

"Officially" (or so I believe) English doesn't have comparative adverbs (a single word rather than "more" + an adverb), but faster is in common usage as one, for example: Do it faster When ...