4

Please tell me why people use comparative in this sentence. It is very strange to me.

The parents were more happy than surprised at the study result of their son.

Why don't they use "happier than surprised"?

  • 1
    I feel 'more' here refers to aspect. It can probably be taken as "The parents were more on the happy side than on the surprised side at the study result of their son. So, 'happier' doesn't really fit for the context in my opinion. But I might be wrong. – dan Dec 30 '18 at 7:22
  • Yeah, I think you're right. My thoughts were completely in the wrong direction. – Michael Rybkin Dec 30 '18 at 7:24
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Here you're comparing two descriptions, happy and surprised, saying one is more suitable or accurate than another. -er is not used in such cases.

He's more lazy than stupid. (NOT He's lazier than stupid)

Practical English Usage, Swan, p. 114

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer. It is really helpful for me. So we use this principle in all cases. – Ba Nguyen Thi Dec 30 '18 at 11:34

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