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Since we can say the sentences "I like it better", "I like it best", "I love it better", and "I love it best", I wonder if we can also say these sentences:

  • I dislike it worse.

  • I dislike it worst.

  • I hate it worse.

  • I hate it worst.

or do we have to use "more" and "most" instead of "worse" and "worst" in those sentences?

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    I would prefer "more" and "most". But if you say "more" or "worse" then you must also give something which it is more or worse than. So I go with "I hate it the most". – Weather Vane Feb 26 at 20:44
  • You are mixing up the superlative and the comparative. – Lambie Feb 26 at 20:46
  • @Lambie This is a question about both. – Fire and Ice Feb 26 at 20:47
  • I will not unscramble this as I feel you could do a bit more work on it first.... – Lambie Feb 26 at 20:56
  • @Lamie I made an edit on the post. I don't think there is anything wrong with it at the moment. – Fire and Ice Feb 26 at 21:14
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I think it's a case where you can say something, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

I was trying to work out what was wrong with the sentences, as they definitely didn't sound natural. The honest answer is that I'm not entirely sure why it sounds wrong, and why native speakers would almost certainly say "I dislike it more/most" not "I dislike it worse/worst".

In the case of "I hate it worse/worst", that definitely is used as a phrase. In fact Shakespeare uses it in 'Timon of Athens'.

With 'dislike it worse/worst', I think there might be (and I'm not saying I'm definitely right) a reason not to say it because it's almost like a double negative ... you are saying two things which have negative connotations, and they almost seem to confuse each other. Does 'disliking something worse' mean you dislike it LESS efficiently, less effectively? But then again, the same argument could be said of 'I hate it worst'. Google NGram suggests it is not a phrase that is at all commonly used, if ever.

Other than that, I'm at a bit of a loss, other than to say 'people don't say it'.

  • Thank you. Do you think "hate something/somebody worse" and "hate something/somebody worst" sound normal in modern English too? – Fire and Ice Feb 28 at 22:06
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    Yes, they are fine. – fred2 Mar 1 at 1:17
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I dislike it worse.

is quite unfortunate. It uses two words with a negative meaning. But unlike using two negations which form a positive, these two negative words form a confusion.

It is better to say:

  • I dislike it the most.
  • I like it the least.

or

  • I hate it the most.
  • I love it the least.

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