"quicklier" or "more quickly"?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by kyn, May 15, 2008.

  1. kyn

    kyn Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Is is true that the general rule is: if a 2-syllable adjective ends with "y", the comparative form is "-ier"?
    I want to ask because sometimes I feel "more + adj-y" sounds better.
    What are the comparative forms of "dirty", "quickly" ? Is there any possibility that both "-ier" and "more + -y" are correct?
  2. ms291052 Member

    English - USA
    Quickly is, in fact, an adverb, and thus you must always say "more quickly." "Quicklier" is not a valid word. Dirty is an adjective but "Dirtier" also sounds better than "more dirty" too me, but I've certainly heard both.
  3. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Hi kyn,

    You are correct that the general rule is that if the adjective has two syllables and ends in -Y, you form the comparative by dropping the -Y and adding -ier; you form the superlative by dropping the -Y and adding -iest:
    happy >> happier >> happiest
    silly >> sillier >> silliest
    dirty >> dirtier >> dirtiest

    Sometimes one can use either the rule above or use "more" or "most" (i.e., both are correct):
    friendly >> friendlier >> friendliest
    friendly >> more friendly >> most friendly

    In your question about "quickly," however, you have made an error. "Quickly" is not an adjective, it is an adverb. The adjective is "quick," and the comparative and superlative forms are "quicker," "quickest."

    I hope this helps.
  4. kyn

    kyn Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    But when you say "Sometimes one can use either the rule above or use "more" or "most" ", do you mean that that only applies to a certain adj/adv, or is it always the case?
    And please confirm about "quickly" (adv): is "more quickly" or "quicklier" correct?
  5. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    I would just say "quicker" or "more quickly".

    Quicklier is not a word. "More quickly" is a bit verbose.
  6. kyn

    kyn Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    How about "more dirty" and "dirtier"? Are both acceptable?
  7. Seeker89 Member

    United States
    Yes, both "more dirty" and "dirtier" are acceptable, though "dirtier" is more natural sounding. "Quicklier" is never used. Although nzfauna prefers "quicker" to "more quickly," in North America these are not interchangeable; quicker cannot be an adverb.

    These are correct:
    Adjective: A cat is quicker than a mouse.
    Adverb: A cat runs more quickly than a mouse.

    This is incorrect:
    A cat runs quicker than a mouse.

    This might be heard, but it sounds uneducated.
  8. watashiwa New Member

    mexican spanish
    friendly is and adjective or an adverb? I am confused about the using of "friendlier or more friendly"
  9. dropofrain Senior Member

    alicante Spain
    It's an adjective.
    Mike is very friendly.

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