What Is a Double Comparative? (with Examples)

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Double Comparative

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.
  • (should be wiser)
  • Flossy is more quicker than Susan.
  • (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.
  • (should be richer)
  • I'm more affluenter than you.
  • (should be more affluent)
  • You're even more stupider than you look.
  • (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.
  • (should be windier)
  • Ice-cream is more tastier than sorbet.
  • (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.
  • I'm betterer than you.
  • (should be better in both examples)
  • I'm more worse than you.
  • I'm worser than you.
  • (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.
  • (should be faster)
Read more about forming comparatives.

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 comparatives lesson.

Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

What is a double superlative? What is a double negative? What is degree? Forming comparatives What are comparatives? What is a suffix? Glossary of grammatical terms