Double ComparativesA 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 ComparativesThe 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)
- 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)
- We have loads of chickens now because our rooster can run more faster than our hens. [wrong] (should be faster)
- Add -er (tall > taller)
- Remove y, add -ier (pretty > prettier)
- Precede with more (famous > more famous)
- Precede with less (famous > less famous)
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.