I wanted to know why in English, you don't say "moderner" but "more modern" while, according to the rules I have studied, with a short word (1 or two syll.) you only have to add -er to create the comparative form?
It appears that the rules you have studied are useful generalities, but do not govern all
cases. As a native EN speaker, I have never studied any rules about comparative forms. Instead, I have learned them by listening and imitating.
In some cases you have a choice between the xxxxxxxxxx-er and more xxxxxxxx forms. In others, usage dictates, or at least strongly suggests, which will be idiomatic.
Are you sure your rules didn't allow for exceptions?
To your specific question, we don't say "moderner" because it would sound foreign.
As a matter of fact, I had already asked myself the question and it appears that in the rules you find in grammar books, they don't specify the existence of any exception. (...maybe to simplify things)
Then I realized there were some exceptions, that's why I've been through a lot of research to find an answer. Once or twice, they were talking about some exceptions but there was no "list of exceptions". They didn't explain why there were exceptions and I was wondering if someone knew a specific rule (or list) I just wanted to know if I was missing a part of the rule but maybe it is just like you said...
Learning a language is more and more difficult when you realize there are exceptions to the rules...!
As Cuchuflete says, there's something oddly 'alien' about the sound of moderner which isn't present in (e.g.) cleverer, thornier, stupider. I have no idea why, unless it's to do with those two schwas in a row ...
The grammar rules about comparatives in this case are as follows:
Two syllables, ending in Y. Examples:
happy, silly, lonely
Change y to i, then add -er:
happier, sillier, lonelier
Two syllables or more, not ending in
Y. Examples: modern, interesting,
Use “more” before the
adjective: more modern, more
interesting, more beautiful
I'm sure this can help you.
Please make sure you give clear attribution for any text that you copy from another source.
The text above was copied directly, or indirectly, from the University of Victoria Language Centre CLICK HERE. panjandrum >>
This is only a guideline. Any strict rule will only leave you confused as there are always exceptions. Two exceptions already mentioned in this thread are stupid - stupider - stupidest and clever - cleverer - cleverest.
As was mentioned above, native speakers do not learn this as a rule in school, but know which words use which forms through learning them by example.
Yes. You are right. It's a guideline.
In the past, and perhaps still by some authorities, it has been considered incorrect to form the comparative of some multisyllabic adjectives by adding -er, but objections to words such as "stupider" have come to seem a bit schoolmarmish in current usage. But there's certainly nothing wrong with saying "more stupid"!