Double Comparitive

Double Comparatives

A double comparative is a grammar mistake caused by applying two ways of forming a comparative instead of one. Double comparatives are most commonly committed when someone uses -er and more (e.g., more taller).

Easy Examples of Double Comparatives

  • He is more wiser than the teachers. [wrong]
  • (should be wiser)
  • Flossy is more quicker than Susan. [wrong]
  • (should be quickest)

Real-Life Examples of Double Comparatives

The rules for creating comparatives are quite complicated (see the section on comparatives), but let's look at a few of the common ways to create a comparative so we can talk about the mistake known as a double comparative. The comparative form of lots of adjectives is created either by adding the suffix -er or by placing more or less before. You can't do both. That's a serious mistake called a double comparative.
  • You're considerably more richer than George. [wrong]
  • (should be richer)
  • I'm more affluenter than you.
  • (should be more affluent)
  • You're even more stupider than you look. [wrong]
  • (This should be more stupid or stupider (which is an acceptable alternative) but definitely not more stupider.) Many adjectives that end -y, change the y to an i before adding the suffix -er. You can't do this and use more as well.
    • Ireland is more windier than England. [wrong]
    • (should be windier)
    • Ice-cream is more tastier than sorbet. [wrong]
    • (should be tastier)
    A few common adjectives have specific comparative forms (e.g., good becomes better, and bad becomes worse). You see double comparatives with these too.
    • I'm more better than you. [wrong]
    • I'm betterer than you. [wrong]
    • (should be better in both examples)
    • I'm more worse than you. [wrong]
    • I'm worser than you. [wrong]
    • (should be worse in both examples)
    The examples above are all double comparatives of adjectives. Occasionally, you see double comparatives with adverbs too.
    • We have loads of chickens now because our rooster can run more faster than our hens. [wrong]
    • (should be faster)

    Why Should I Care about Double Comparatives?

    Double comparatives are far more common in speech than in writing. In speech, they are often forgivable because they can usually be dismissed as a slip of the tongue. In writing, however, a double comparative is a serious mistake.

    Forming comparatives correctly is covered in the section on comparatives.

    Key Points

    There are several ways to form a comparative. For example:
    • Add -er (tall > taller)
    • Remove y, add -ier (pretty > prettier)
    • Precede with more (famous > more famous)
    • Precede with less (famous > less famous)
    Apply the way that fits your word. If you apply two of the ways, you'll have created a serious mistake called a double comparative.
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