simpler? more simple?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by FrenchyFrog, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. FrenchyFrog Member

    Lyon, France
    France, French
    Hi, I would like to know which of these phrases is correct:
    "simpler" or "more simple"?
    I can not find the answere anywhere.
    Thank you
  2. The Scrivener Banned

    On the "naughty step".
    England. English

    Hi FrenchyFrog,

    "Simpler" is the correct choice.

    simple, simpler, simplest
  3. FrenchyFrog Member

    Lyon, France
    France, French
    Yes that what I thought but it is not on the dictionary.
    Thank you!
  4. The Scrivener Banned

    On the "naughty step".
    England. English
    You will find it in (a very useful resource).
  5. nickstock

    nickstock New Member

    Esplañol/Spanish (Mex-Arg)
    I think its one of the "exception of the rule" cases. Supossedly, word with 1 vowel should have the +er. Other words should use more + word.
  6. jonjonsin Member

    English - American
    Actually, I think both are acceptable. "Simpler" is probably more widely used. I think for both the comparative and the superlative it depends on how it sounds and how it's pronounced. For example, I would use "more fun" never "funner", but I could see myself using "funnest" or "most fun".
  7. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    I would imagine myself using either, probably "simpler" more of the time, but it is one of those words where both forms can be used.
  8. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Here is a thread on comparative forms of two-syllable words, like simple:
    The discussion is interesting. Post #14 talks about disyllabic adjectives that form comparatives both by using more and by adding -er. Among these are adjectives that end in the "l" sound, such as simple.
  9. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
  10. campeol Member

    English - Canada
    I've always thought that the 'more + adjective' construction should be avoided where it isn't needed - that is, where the adjective has a single-word superlative form. I would then always go with 'simpler' over 'more simple' and 'happier' over 'more happy'. I'm not sure if 'more simple' is strictly incorrect, but I have a feeling my mindset comes from English professors constantly emphasizing concision and clarity =).
  11. andresmtp

    andresmtp New Member

    I though fun was a noun, the adjective would be "funny" so the comparative form is funnier Is this wrong?
  12. Yondlivend Senior Member

    American English
    Fun is a noun but it's also an adjective. The comparative and superlative I use for "fun" are "more fun" and "most fun," though "funner" and "funnest" are common informally. Funny is also an adjective, but it has a different meaning. Its comparatives are funnier and funniest.
    I agree. If an adjective can take the -er, and -est forms (and it sounds good to my ear) then I'll use those. I've heard people using "more" and "most" in places where it sounds just plain odd to me, though I can't think of a specific example at the moment. But if someone said "more pretty" instead of "prettier," I would find it strange.

    I remember I was speaking to someone the other day about this very topic (I don't know how we ended up talking about it, but we did), and they told me a "rule" that they'd heard of before: "If an adjective is only one syllable or ends in y, it takes the -er and -est endings, otherwise it takes 'more' and 'most'." I'd never heard anything of the sort, and I was thinking about all the comparatives I could. Shortly after I said, "what about 'stupid'? We say 'stupider' and 'stupidest', even though it's a two-syllable word and doesn't end in y"

    I think "rules" such as these are just made up because they're easy to remember. For me, whether an adjective can take -er and -est depends solely on whether it sounds good to me. If it sounds awkward, I won't use it.

    Edited to add: For "simple," I use "simpler" and "simplest"
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

    Despite this thread seeming quite old, I recall my early 1980's English classes stating that both comparative and superlative suffixes "-er" and "-est" were solely for one-syllabic adjectives and two-syllabic ones ending in "y"; "fun" being an exception because of it also being a noun. The latter and the remaining adjectives requiring "more" and "most" before. Therefore, the original correct way was "more simple" or "the most simple".

    Notwithstanding, it is also worth mentioning that all languages mutate in time because of the newer generations' speech. This in mind, it is currently ALSO correct to say "simpler" and "simplest". I guess it's all about going with the flow.

    Hi FrenchyFrog, they're actually both correct (nowadays). Originally (at least in the early 80s as I recall), the correct form was only "more simple" due to the word 'simple' being a two-syllabic word and not ending in -y. Nevertheless, it would appear the English language has once again mutated in time, thus currently accepting "simpler" as well.

  15. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I don't think that's correct, Alejandro. Two-syllable adjectives ending in syllabic /l/ have always been able to take -er, est. If anything, I'd say the tendency is the other way round - to move away from -er,-est and use more, most.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  16. Nhu Pham

    Nhu Pham New Member

    I'm not a native speaker but the way I learn and absorb everything is also whatever feels natural to me. I find myself do this too. They are both correct (as I read through this thread) but it sounds better with "simpler" in the middle and "more simple" at the end of the sentence.

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