More and most with short adjectives

Adjectives of three or more syllables have more and most.

  • Careful / more careful / most careful
  • Beautiful / more beautiful / most beautiful
  • Intelligent / more intelligent / most intelligent
  • Practical / more practical / most practical

There are some exceptions to this rule. The opposites of two-syllable adjectives ending in –y usually form the comparative and the superlative by adding –er and –est. Examples are: unhappy and untidy.

  • Unhappy / unhappier / unhappiest
  • Untidy / untidier / untidiest

Some compound-adjectives have two possible comparatives and superlatives.

  • Good-looking / more good-looking / most good-looking
  • Good-looking / better-looking / best-looking
  • Well-known / more well-known / most well-known
  • Well-known / better-known / best-known

More and most with short adjectives

Sometimes more and most are used with short adjectives which usually take –er and –est. This usually happens when a comparative is not followed immediately by than.

  • The task is getting more and more hard. (OR The task is getting harder and harder.)
  • You are getting more and more young. (OR You are getting younger and younger.)

When we compare two descriptions of the same person or thing, we use more.

  • He is more lazy than stupid. (NOT He is lazier than stupid.)