I've read a sentence:

The more the sincere one's effort is, the faster their growth is.

I feel something wrong in this. 'The more' may be followed by a noun phrase perhaps such as 'the+ more + the + noun'.

To make the one mentioned above better I would choose:

The sincerer one's effort is, the faster their growth is.

Am I on the right line?

  • 1
    Is the comparative degree of 'sincere' "sincerer" or "more sincere"?
    – xeesid
    Aug 15, 2019 at 10:29
  • 2
    You could use the inflected form "sincerer", though some speakers prefer the analytic "more sincere".
    – BillJ
    Aug 15, 2019 at 10:31
  • 2
    The superlative "sincerest" is commonly used in set phrases like "sincerest apologies", "sincerest sympathy", etc. The comparative "sincerer" is not so common, but the word does exist.
    – alephzero
    Aug 15, 2019 at 19:30
  • 1
    The only example that comes to my mind that follows the pattern "the more the + comparative degree" is, "The more, the merrier." But that has a very different usage than what you're looking for.
    – David K
    Aug 16, 2019 at 0:00

3 Answers 3


Your example:

The more the sincere one's effort is, the faster their growth is.

is very close. There are two fixes you need:

  • you have an extra "the" in the first one. I'll show some examples below.

  • the subject changes from "one" to "their". This is a violation of parallelism. Parallelism just means that between parts (1) and (2), when things are the same, their parts of speech, verbs, singular and plural, tenses, etc. should be the same.

The more, the more

Here's a simple example of "the more..the more". It is common to use the word "more" twice.

  • ✔️ Yes: The more you do, the more you get.
  • ✔️ Yes: The more I work, the more I earn.
  • ✔️ Yes: The more I work, the more that I earn.
  • ✔️ Yes: The more I work, the more money I make.

These are a little awkward:

  • 😐 OK: The more I work, the more money that I make.
  • 🙁 Not good: The more I work, the more that I make money.

You can even use "more" and "less".

  • Yes: The more I learn, the less I know.

In each example, notice how the subject doesn't change its form (you...you), (I..I). The tense does not change, either.

Comparisons without more

You can do the comparison without the more:

  • Yes: The slower I work, the poorer I get.
  • Yes: The faster I work, the richer I get.

You can do the comparison with just one "more", but it is not usual, and does not sound quite as good:

  • Maybe: The faster I work, the more money I make.

  • Maybe: The more money I want, the harder I look for work.

Parallelism is your friend

See if you can tell which ones sound best:

  • (A) The more you work, the more you earn.
  • (B) The more you work, the more money you will earn.
  • (C) The more hours you work, the more money you earn.

To the native ear, (A) and (C) sound the best because their parallelism is better. (B) is not necessarily wrong, but it sounds weird.

The more, the more

You can see all of this in a dictionary example:

the more (one thing happens), the more (another thing happens)

An increase in one thing (an action, occurrence, etc.) causes or correlates to an increase in another thing.

[1] The more work you do now, the more free time you'll [you will] have this weekend.

[2] The more money we make, the more responsibilities we get.

-- Farlex, The Free Dictionary (emphasis added)

In sentence [2], notice how both parts have "we" as their subject, and they both use the same structure -- "we + verb". The verb is present tense in both cases.

Tense changes

In sentence [1], the construction is more tricky, but it is valid.

  • The tense changes from something happening now (present tense) to the future (future tense).

This is fine, but there needs to be a reason:

  • Yes: The more I run today, the better I will feel tomorrow.

It's clear that a present action has a future result.

  • No: The more you work, the more you will earn.

Why the tense shift? It's not clear why the second part became the future. Stick to the same tense, usually.

  • 1
    The (c) sentence under parallelism is your friend doesn't have parallelism! Why? Aug 15, 2019 at 13:04
  • Changed and thanks for the comment! Aug 15, 2019 at 16:40
  • Obligatory: "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." Aug 15, 2019 at 18:23

The sentence suffers stylistically for several reasons—and the second article shouldn't be there at all.

Any of the following would be more natural:

The more one's effort is sincere, the more one's growth is fast.
The more one's effort is sincere, the faster is one's growth.
The more sincere is one's effort, the faster is one's growth.

(I personally prefer the third sentence, but that's subjective.)

These variations do several things:

  • Pronoun consistency is maintained. It's awkward to use one's in the first part and their in the second part. It almost seems as if their is referring to somebody or something else.
  • Is is removed from the end of each clause. The normal order of a sentence is Subject-Verb-Object (S-V-O). The first version uses that. While the third version actually uses O-V-S, the fact that the verb is still in the middle means it hasn't changed all that much. (Meanwhile, the second version uses S-V-O in its first clause, but O-V-S in its second clause.)

    But using O-S-V, as the original sentence does, is different enough from normal to make it odd—as if Yoda (the character from Star Wars) were speaking. As he might say, "Better it is to do that not."
  • Sincerer is avoided. Although it is a technically correct word, and -er is fine in general, it's simply unidiomatic here. It's rarely said—more sincere is more common.

To really paraphrase the sentence, and use a structure borrowed from Spider-Man, it could even be written in the following way:

With greater sincerity comes greater growth.

  • I’m surprised you prefer the third option – it’s at the least borderline ungrammatical to me. Subject-auxiliary inversion does not apply in contexts like this one, where the fronted element is the subject complement, except in very archaic language. “The more sincere one’s effort is, the faster one’s growth will be” is by far the most natural to me. This is even more markedly so with a shorter subject: “The faster am I, the better is it” is completely ungrammatical to me; that has to be “The faster I am, the better it is”. Aug 16, 2019 at 8:04
  • (Of course, another perfectly valid and quite natural choice would be to just leave out the verb altogether: “The sincerer one’s effort(s), the faster one’s growth”. This requires an even stronger parallelism, though, and pretty much forces the otherwise uncommon sincerer.) Aug 16, 2019 at 8:06
  • @JanusBahsJacquet As I said, which is preferred is entirely subjective. I don't find the third version borderline ungrammatical in any way; it more closely matches constructions I've heard most of my life—especially in terms of how aphorisms are phrased. It's not so much a standard expression as it is a saying. (So it has a bit of an old-fashioned feel to it. But I feel that actually adds something in this case.) Aug 16, 2019 at 13:45

The more the sincere one's effort is, the faster their one's growth is.

Subject to the corrections I've made, there is nothing grammatically wrong with this sentence. You could replace the analytic "more sincere" by inflectional "sincerer", though many speakers dislike the latter. And some speakers (like me) would prefer plural "efforts".

If you must use "their" in the head clause, then you should also use it in the subordinate clause.

Incidentally, this is called a 'correlative comparison' construction.

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