Thursday, September 6

More Better?!

Do you know the meaning of the word “syllable?”

A “syllable” is a part of a word that has only one vowel sound.

For example,

cool = 1 syllable

elf = 1 syllable

grammar = 2 syllables

English = 2 syllables

language = 2 syllables

Now it’s your turn. How many syllables do you think there are in this word: 


Is it hard?

When you use your dictionary and check the pronunciation guide for one word, you can see something like this:


Can you see the hyphens (-)?

They can help us with our pronunciation because they divide the word into how many syllables the word has in real, spoken English.  

In our example above, the word “different” has two hyphens. This means the word has three syllables.

The three syllables of the word “different” are: dif, fer, and ent.

Now, please guess how many syllables the following words have:







Here are the answers:

book– = 1 syllable

busi–ness = 2 syllables

com–put–er = 3 syllables

tech–nol–o–gy = 4 syllables

re–frig–er–a–tor = 5 syllables

Not so hard, right?


Knowing how many syllables a word has is important not only in pronunciation but also in making Comparative forms.

What are Comparative forms?

The grammar term Comparative comes from the word “compare.” We consider two things, people, etc. side by side and talk about them in relation to each other.

We use Adjectives (and Adverbs) to make Comparative forms.

Here are examples of the Comparative:




more expensive

more beautiful


If you noticed, there are two ways to make the Comparative form, by (1) adding “+er” at the end of the Adjective and by (2)  adding “more+” at the beginning.

How can we know which one to use?

The Rule

There is a general rule about how to make Comparatives, but it isn’t 100% absolute. This means it 's usually right but it's sometimes wrong. 

Anyway, here it is:

  •    If the Adjective has only 1 syllable ===> add “er” at the end


cute ==> cuter

smart ==> smarter

tall ==> taller

fast ==> faster

  •    If the Adjective has 2 syllables or more ==> add “more” at the beginning:


modern ==> more modern

famous ==> more famous

dangerous ==> more dangerous

delicious ==> more delicious

  •    Some Adjectives can go two ways:



clever ==> cleverer – or – more clever

quiet ==> quieter – or – more quiet

shallow ==shallower – or – more shallow

simple ==> simpler – or – more simple

  •    Some irregular Adjectives:

bad ==> worse

far ==> farther

little ==> less

More Better: Right or Wrong?

By now, you have probably realized that using –er or more+ depends on whether the Adjective is long or short. We have some rules about it, but there are also exceptions, so you should practice each individual word. 

But there is one thing for sure: you can use either –er or more+, but you can’t use both of them at the same time.

So, “more better” is wrong. 

Hope you learned something! 

Keep on learning !

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