Double Comparative

by Craig Shrives

What Is a Double Comparative? (with Examples)

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" at the same time (e.g., more taller).
double comparative examples

Easy Examples of Double Comparatives

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

Real-Life Examples of Double Comparatives

The rules for forming comparatives are quite complicated, 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 cross
  • (should be richer)
  • I'm more affluenter than you.
  • (should be more affluent)
  • You're even more stupider than you look. wrong cross
  • (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 cross
  • (should be windier)
  • Ice-cream is more tastier than sorbet. wrong cross
  • (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 cross
  • I'm betterer than you. wrong cross
  • (should be better in both examples)
  • I'm more worse than you. wrong cross
  • I'm worser than you. wrong cross
  • (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 cross
  • (should be faster)
Read more about forming 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 comparatives lesson.

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