Is it correct to say that

'something is rated lower'

? I think you should be able to say that

'something was given a lower rate'

but I am not too sure what about the first option. I guess you would need an adverb rather than an adjective but what adverb would that be in such a case - 'lowly'? Appreciate any help


Yes, you can absolutely say that something or someone is rated lower. See this headline from the New York Times: "Harvard Rated Asian-American Applicants Lower on Personality Traits, Suit Says" (source from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/15/us/harvard-asian-enrollment-applicants.html)

"Rated lower" will typically be followed by a description of the quality being rated.

You may also see: "This movie is lower-rated than the others."

Both rated lower and lower-rated imply a comparison to something else. For a sentence without that implied comparison, I would expect "low-rated" or "has low ratings." In my experience, "lowly" is slightly unusual, possibly because of its primary adjectival meaning of "low in status."

  • Thanks a lot for both your answer and the link to the article - very helpful.
    – found_anew
    Feb 1 '19 at 8:51

Assuming you are talking about the "rating" of something (in other words a "grade" or judgment about how it compares to other things in its category), then you would use "rating" instead of "rate" in your second example:

'something was given a lower rating'

Your first example sounds fine:

'something is rated lower'

"Lower" is, as you say, an adjective, but that is what you want in this situation. "To be rated" is a so-called "linking verb" like "to be", "to seem", or "to become". A linking verb links the subject ("something" in this example) to an adjective ("lower") which describes that subject. You can read about this type of sentence in this "softschools "article about predicate adjectives.

  • 1
    Thanks a lot for your answer as well as the link to the article - very helpful.
    – found_anew
    Feb 1 '19 at 8:52

If you want to talk about rating, you would rather say:

'something is rated lower than something else'

For instance when talking about a movie:

'The last Iron man was rated lower than Hunger Games 2, I now understand why!'

Keep in mind most of the time it is a comparison so it even if it is grammaticaly correct to say "Something is rated lower." It may sounds weird to stop the sentance here without adding another point of comparison.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .