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If I see two products that are cheap, for example, if normally each product costs $10 and now one of them (product A) costs $5 and the second (product B) costs $7. Then what will be the correct form to refer to product B price state?

  • Choice 1: Product B is less cheap.
  • Choice 2: Product B is less cheaper. (with comparative form)

Now it's obvious that I can use in terms of expensive (for product B) and cheaper (for product A), but my question deals with a situation in which I'd like to emphasis or to focus on the cheapness (since in the end of the day they're both cheaper than normal).

Is it valid at all in English to use one of these couple of words: "less cheap" or "less cheaper"?

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    Product B is more expensive; Product A is cheaper. – J.R. Apr 22 '18 at 16:30
  • It is understood, but if I'd like to emphasis or to focus on the cheapness that means that I can't use one of the choices at all? – Judicious Allure Apr 22 '18 at 16:31
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    Intriguingly, I didn't think this is grammatical. English never cease to amaze me! .. – Lucian Sava Apr 22 '18 at 16:36
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    @LucianSava - I changed your search to only include results from the past 35 years, and there were very few, and many of those were false hits (such as when one sentence ends with the word less and the next sentence begins with the word cheaper). We can debate whether this phrase is incorrect, awkward, nonstandard, or ungrammatical, but the point is, it should probably be avoided most of the time. – J.R. Apr 22 '18 at 16:47
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    Cheap is not only price. If you say Product A is less cheap. It can mean: Product A is higher quality. When talking about COST, people say: Product A is cheaper [than product B] or Product B is more expensive than Product B. And I would never say at the level we are talking about (comparatives) "X is less cheaper than B", in that kind of utterance. Who would say that?? So, yes, never use that or you will sound weird. [ha ha, joke, if I am permitted to make one.] – Lambie Apr 22 '18 at 17:02
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X is cheaper than Y. [X =10, Y=20]

X is less expensive than Y. [X=10, Y=20]

Those two sentences mean the same thing.

Conversely, Y is more expensive than X.

Cheap, one syllable, just add ER: Cheap=cheaper

Expensive, three syllables, add less or more: less expensive than, more expensive than.

In fact, X is much cheaper than Y, by 10 dollars. Much=an adverb that modifies cheaper.

much cheaper is an adverb and goes with cheaper. It is not a little cheaper, it is a lot cheaper. much cheaper=a lot cheaper.

Adding much or a lot or a little [adverbs] to a comparative is fine.

Much cheaper, but: much more expensive.

The other meaning of CHEAP=BAD quality:

Product A is less cheap than Product B= The quality of Product A is higher than the quality of Product B.

Comparative: Product A looks less cheap than Product B.

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  • If "much cheaper" is OK then a little bit cheaper is also OK. The problem is just with more and less cheaper. Did I get you? – Judicious Allure Apr 22 '18 at 22:01
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    @subtle_sibling Yes, more and less cheaper is out except for the kind of example given in that economics book, which in fact does not parse as suggested.... – Lambie Apr 23 '18 at 13:01
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Choice 1: Product B is less cheap. Choice 2: Product B is less cheaper.

Of these choices, only (1) is possible. Choice (2) is immediately ruled out because we cannot combine a comparative adverb (less/more) with a comparative adjective (cheaper).

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  • And what's your opinion about choice (1)? Do you agree with the other answer here on the page? – Judicious Allure Apr 22 '18 at 19:29
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I have the same question but I end up saying that there is no grammatical mistake in using less with short or long adjectives and with —er or no —er. Because less and more function as adverbs used to modify adjectives, adverbs and verbs.

On the other hand, in comparative sentences, we have to respect its rules, so you would get points or not, the administrators could protect themselves with the rule and formulas of comparative form, when to use less and more and when they are not allowed.

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