Is It Smarter or More Smart?
English language can be puzzling sometimes with its seemingly inconsistent usage of words. For instance, the adjectives like “smart” and “intelligent” change their forms while we use them in the comparative and superlative degrees. The variations that are acceptable in such cases are enough to baffle anyone who is not comfortable with basic grammar rules. Today’s discussion is about the conundrum of using “smarter” vs. “more smart.” Stay with me until the end to unravel the mystery.
First of all, let me clear some doubts that beginners may have regarding what comparative and superlative degrees are. In a nutshell, these degrees are used to compare the qualities of two or more things. Comparative degree compares two things, usually by adding “-er” or “more” to the adjective. For example, “This car is faster than that.” And superlative degree compares three or more things, generally by adding “-est” or “most” to the adjective. For instance, “This car is the fastest.”
Now coming back to our topic, is it smarter or more smart? To put it briefly, both are correct with some exceptions. “Smarter” is the correct form when you are comparing two things or people, while “more smart” is apt when you compare more than two things or people. For example, “This phone is smarter than the previous model” and “Out of all the candidates, she is the most smart.” These sentences are grammatically correct, and nothing is wrong with them.
There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. Adjectives with easier pronunciation tend to take the “-er” form more often. For example, adjectives like fast, slow, thin, fat, young, old, etc., take the “-er” form where possible. It sounds natural and musical that way. So, you can say “This car is faster than that car” instead of “more fast” or “This shirt is cheaper than that shirt” instead of “more cheap.”
On the other hand, if an adjective has three or more syllables, it is difficult and awkward to add “-er” to make a comparative. It would disrupt the flow of the sentence and sound odd. So, in such cases, adding “more” before the adjective is the correct way to construct a comparative degree. For instance, “This food is more delicious than that one” and “John is more intelligent than Richard.”
In summary, use “smarter” when comparing two things, and “more smart” when comparing more than two things. Additionally, use “-er” when possible and easy, and “more” when the adjective is long and winding. But these are not strict rules, and they might have exceptions.
Why bother with correct grammar while speaking or writing? Well, language is a tool, and using it right enhances our ability to express ourselves more accurately and effectively. It leaves a good impression on others and minimizes the chances of miscommunication. Besides, in certain situations such as academic essays or formal letters, sloppy grammar can harm our reputation and credibility.
To score better in the Writing and Speaking sections of English proficiency tests, such as TOEFL and IELTS, mastering these nuances of grammar is essential. Even native speakers who have gaps in their knowledge of basic grammar rules might find it useful to learn the rationale behind the usage to avoid committing errors.
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So, there you have it, the mystery of using “smarter” or “more smart” is now solved. Remember the basic rules and exceptions that we discussed, and you won’t get confused in its usage. Besides, improving your grammar is always a plus, whether you are a non-native or a native speaker of English.