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I would like to compare two solution and one of the solution is "more complete" (if we were to say it verbally), but technically, I felt wrong because complete is complete, we can say half complete but I don't think we can quantify more complete.

Is there any word that is more suitable for this use? Thanks.

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  • Do you mean one is more detailed or more elaborate than the other?
    – Jim
    Nov 5, 2013 at 1:58
  • Not really. Just that the feature sets are richer.
    – drhanlau
    Nov 5, 2013 at 1:59
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    Well, there you go: In comparing the two solutions while each solves the fundamental problem, one was found to have a much richer feature set than the other.
    – Jim
    Nov 5, 2013 at 2:03
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    I agree with @FumbleFingers, there's nothing wrong with "more complete" to describe a solution that does the same task but does it in a simpler, more automated, and/or more user-friendly fashion; or that handles a larger range of inputs (whether you need that range or not), or deals with extra details.
    – Hellion
    Nov 5, 2013 at 16:14
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    I am writing an academic assignment so the editors are quite particular in quantifying such a claim. I would say in daily conversation, people will get the idea straightaway academics just require a little bit more.
    – drhanlau
    Nov 6, 2013 at 0:40

3 Answers 3

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Your objection to more complete is reasonable. It is probably not worth troubling with in colloquial or semiformal contexts, but in an academic context with any pretense of rigor it is quite properly avoided.

The simple solution is to describe the superior solution as “more nearly complete”.

That, however, is the least of your problems. You should not use the term complete at all unless you define quite precisely what you mean by it. Without more knowledge of what it is your solutions solve and what metrics govern your attribution of a greater degree of completion to one than to the other, it is impossible to say how you ought to express this; but by way of example:

The solution put forward by Nishiyama and Koenig (2010) is similar to that of Michaelis (2008), but is more nearly complete in that Nishiyama and Koenig claim to account for all perfect constructions, while Michaelis accounts only for resultative perfects. Neither solution, however, accounts for all uses of perfect constructions; in particular, neither gives a wholly convincing explanation of the drift in US usage away from use of the present perfect in continuative perfects.

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  • +1 for the third paragraph. "Complete" could mean "comprehensive" (breadth of application), it could mean "thorough" (depth of effect), or it could mean "further developed" (nearer to a finished state).
    – Wayne
    Feb 13, 2014 at 20:39
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Thorough is the word you're looking for, I think.

Thesaurus entry on "thorough"

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  • It doesn't quite fit into the context.
    – drhanlau
    Nov 5, 2013 at 11:22
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    @cherhan In that case you should provide more context. Dec 5, 2013 at 17:07
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Student here. I have the same problem in describing the addition of new bits of information as 'more complete'. As has been needled into me, knowledge is never 'complete', only ever added to. Or as helpfully offered above, made richer. Mostly it's as complete as current understanding permits, until some smartypants or fancy new technology offers valid new insight. Thus making the picture 'more complete'. It doesn't sit well with me but this is how I justify it myself. Rightly or wrongly. I like enrichment/made richer I'll try using that from now on, thank you.

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