less good

Discussion in 'English Only' started by mimi2, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. mimi2 Senior Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    Is it acceptable to say "less good"?
    "The grey suit is less good than this one."
  2. Rather "not as good", if you wish to avoid "worse" at any rate.
  3. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Setwale Charm is right - it would be:

    "The grey suit is not as good as this one"
  4. mimi2 Senior Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi, Dimcl.
    Please tell me why "less good" is not acceptable. Is it grammatically correct?
  5. JasonNPato Senior Member

    GA USA

    No, unfortunately it is not. In English, we simply do not use "less good," nor do we use "more good."

    For "less good" we say "worse"

    For "more good" we say "better"

    For "least good" we say "worst"

    and "most good" we say "best"

    and it is ALWAYS this way, though, as Dimcl showed you, there are ways around saying "worse" such as "not as good as"

    Both essentially say the same thing however, which is that one thing is "more good" (BETTER) than the other

    I hope this helps
  6. Taña Margarita

    Taña Margarita Senior Member

    Chicago, IL
    English - United States
    It is not grammatically correct. I couldn't tell you why. You could say..."this grey suit is less pliable than this one" or "this grey suit is less expensive than this one". Good works differently, though. Probably one of those weird English exceptions.
  7. mimi2 Senior Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you very much for kind help.
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In terms of general usage I agree with what's been said already. But there is nothing ungrammatical or incorrect about saying less good.

    Worse carries an implicit sense of badness: see where it comes in the sequence best, better, good, bad, worse, worst. Often, less good is used rather than worse to describe things that are not as good as the best but still on the positive side of the good/bad "boundary". Or to avoid appearing to be inappropriately critical.

    Here are some reputable examples:
  9. rodoke Senior Member

    Illinois, USA
    en-US; .us
    Generally, only when good is a noun (as opposed to "evil").
    • He's done a lot less good than he thinks.
  10. thierrydh Member

    brussels, belgium
    Belgium - French
    I would have said that "worse" means "more bad" ("pire" in French)
    and worst "most bad". There is a difference between less good and more bad...

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