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Comparative, superlative: clever

Discussion in 'English Only' started by HyphenSpider, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. HyphenSpider

    HyphenSpider Senior Member

    Catalonia
    Spanish, Spain
  2. Little_Me Senior Member

    Poland, Polish
    Clever - cleverer - the cleverest, it sounds good to me! But definitely not 'more clever', this word is to short to use 'more'... I think 'clever' is a regular one in this case. But I'm not the expert...;)
     
  3. MonsieurAquilone Senior Member

    Auckland
    NZ - English
    looks good, you might say, the most clever magician around, otherwise, it is fine
     
  4. HyphenSpider

    HyphenSpider Senior Member

    Catalonia
    Spanish, Spain
    I had a look at an English grammar.... It says:

    One-syllable adjectives add er/est. When ending in e, they add r/st. When ending in one vowel + consonant, double the consonant and add er/est.

    Cold + er = colder
    Nice + r = nicer
    Big + ger = bigger

    Two- and three-syllable adjectives add more/most.
    Two-syllable adjectives ending in y drop y and add ier.

    Famous + more = more famous
    Fashionable + more = more fashionable
    Dirty + ier = dirtier


    Then, clev·er is a two-syllable adjective, so it should add more. However, I looked it up in the dictionary and the correct form is cleverer... Why?
     
  5. petereid

    petereid Senior Member

    selby yorkshire
    english
    One-syllable adjectives add er/est. When ending in e, they add r/st. When ending in one vowel + consonant, double the consonant and add er/est.

    If this is a direct quote from a Grammar, it is too simple.
    But a god start for beginners. You had the good sense to check.
     
  6. HyphenSpider

    HyphenSpider Senior Member

    Catalonia
    Spanish, Spain
    Yes, it is. Maybe it is a grammar for beginners... I don't know. In any case, why is cleverer the comparative form for clever?
     
  7. petereid

    petereid Senior Member

    selby yorkshire
    english
    Hi
    It follows our normal rule for comparisons, add "er" to the end of the adjective.
    "Clever" becomer "cleverer"
    "Tall" becomes "Taller" etc.
    for the easy ones
     
  8. HyphenSpider

    HyphenSpider Senior Member

    Catalonia
    Spanish, Spain
    But as I said, this rule is only for one-syllable adjectives, isn't it?

    Tall = Taller
    Big = Bigger
    Fast = Faster
    Cheap = Cheaper
    Nice = Nicer
     
  9. laurika Senior Member

    hm, nice question and I am interested in the final answer, because: being honest, I didn´t understand it till now too and hardly could find the answer:-( anyway for me until now I explained it as an exception, hope someone can make me wiser :-D
     
  10. HyphenSpider

    HyphenSpider Senior Member

    Catalonia
    Spanish, Spain
    It must be an exception as no-one can give me an explanation...
     
  11. CAMullen Senior Member

    Amesbury
    US, English
  12. laurika Senior Member

    wow, I had a look at it and... THANK YOU. Now it´s much clearer to me, anyway I know I have to take care with two-syallables words and if time, then check in dictionary. Thanks again:)
     
  13. HyphenSpider

    HyphenSpider Senior Member

    Catalonia
    Spanish, Spain
    Good information. Now I understand it. I suppose clever follows this rule:


    Thanks again![FONT=Arial, Helvetica]

    [/FONT]
     
  14. Kris_Antwerp

    Kris_Antwerp New Member

    Antwerp / Flanders / Belgium
    Belgium ( Flanders ) / Dutch.
    One Syllable Adjectives
    add '-er' to end of the adjective (Note: double the final consonant if preceded by a vowel) remove the 'y' from the adjective and add 'ier'
    Example: cheap - cheaper / hot - hotter / high - higher
    Example Sentences
    Yesterday was hotter than today.
    This book is cheaper than that book.
    Two Syllable Adjectives Ending in '-y'

    Example: happy - happier / funny - funnier
    Example Sentences
    I am happier than you.
    That joke was funnier than his joke.
    Two, Three or More Syllable Adjectives
    place 'more' before the adjective
    Example: interesting - more interesting / difficult - more difficult
    Example Sentences
    London is more expensive than Madrid.
    This test is more difficult than the last test.

    Here is a chart showing how to construct the superlative form in English:
    One Syllable Adjectives
    place 'the' before the adjective and add '-est' to end of the adjective (Note: double the final consonant if preceded by a vowel)
    Example: cheap - the cheapest / hot - the hottest / high - the highest
    Example Sentences
    Today is the hottest day of the summer.
    This book is the cheapest I can find.
    Two, Three or More Syllable Adjectives
    place 'the most' before the adjective
    Example: interesting - the most interesting / difficult - the most difficult
    Example Sentences
    London is the most expensive city in England.
    That is the most beautiful painting here.
    Two Syllable Adjectives Ending in '-y' place 'the' before the adjective and remove the 'y' from the adjective and add 'iest'
    Example: happy - the happiest / funny - the funniest
    Example Sentences
    New York is the noisiest city in the USA.
    He is the most important person I know.
    IMPORTANT EXCEPTIONS
    There are some important exceptions to these rules. Here are two of the most important exceptions:
    good
    • good - adjective
    • better - comparative
    • the best - superlative
    Example Sentences
    This book is better than that one.
    This is the best school in the city.
    bad
    • bad - adjective
    • worse - comparative
    • the worst - superlative
    Example Sentences His French is worse than mine.
    This is the worst day of my live.

    Hope this helps.
    Chris.
     
  15. petereid

    petereid Senior Member

    selby yorkshire
    english
    Hi
    Clever is a 2 syllable adjective, the rule you quote is not right.

    Try shallow
    This pool is shallow
    That one is shallower
    The child's pool is the shallowest

    shallow also has two syllables

    Clever is also a 2-syllable adjective. The rule you quote is not right.
    It is too simple.
     
  16. CAMullen Senior Member

    Amesbury
    US, English
    See the web page cited in posts 11, 12, and 13, and heavily borrowed from in 14.
     
  17. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    Some adjectives can use both comparatives forms:
    - clever - cleverer - more clever: These are all correct.
    - quiet - quieter - more quiet: These are all correct.
     
  18. Hyperion Junior Member

    Finland, Swedish
    Interesting reading. Just one comment: the basic form isn't adjective, they are all adjectives. It's: positive -- comparative -- superlative.
     
  19. mplsray Senior Member

    I would note that in most dialects of American English, neither tender nor clever ends in a vowel sound. Nevertheless, for us as well, tenderer and cleverer are acceptable superlatives.

    The link provided did not work for me. This link works.
     
  20. paul_vicmar

    paul_vicmar Senior Member

    Asturias, Spain
    English, UK
  21. Aaar

    Aaar Senior Member

    New Jersey
    English -USA
    This is a tough one. Here is yet another site, with a few more variations.

    I think that the "more/most" option is safe (not incorrect) for almost all 2-syllable adjectives and some with only one. I wouldn't write "blither" or "damneder".

    The folks stating the "rules" seem to be cheating. If it ends in "-le", use "-er/est"; example "gentle, gentler, gentlest". Really? Then it's "agile, agiler, agilest" and "sterile, steriler, sterilest". I don't think so.

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the difficulty of pronouncing the silly things. "Cleverer" and "tenderer" are hard to say. So is "moderner", and I personally wouldn't use "modernest" either, though I can't tell you why.
     
  22. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    Spanish
    They taught me , and I always use :

    Clever - cleverer - the cleverest .


    More/ most clever doesn´t sound good to me.
     
  23. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The thing is the 'rules' were written to describe what native speakers do - and this evolved through time. They were not trying to conform their speech to some rule, so there are bound to be inconsistencies. The 'rules' can only describe tendencies. In Old English, only the inflected form (ie adding suffixes) of comparison was available. (If you know German, you'll know that this rule still applies to German, a 'sister' language of English.) In time, English moved to the French way of comparison (adding words) came to be used, and since then there has been a mix.

    The inflected form is more likely for monosyllabic words; and is more likely for native items (rather than later loan-words like agile or modern). Therefore, more chic even though chic is monosyllabic. Tendencies - rather than hard and fast rules. (Difficult for learners of English, I know, but they just need to listen and read...)

    And there might be differences between speakers and regions. Unlike some others in this thread, I find 'more clever' strange: only 'cleverer' is possible for me.
     

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