We say "more beautiful" to refer to someone's beauty as being greater than another person's or other people's beauty. Here we use more because beautiful has no comparative form. When we deal with the words that have a comparative form, we use the comparative, e.g., "he looks happier today"; here we are using happier because happy has a comparative form.

But even if an adjective has a comparative form, can we use more to compare with others? Do sentences such as "John is more tall than Jack", instead of "John is taller than Jack" sound odd?

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    If the adjective forms its comparative with -er, a comparative with more is always incorrect. Your terminology, by the way, is non-standard (though perfectly comprehensible): more beautiful is the comparative of beautiful Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


Please see the previous question and answer here, which is closely related to yours: "bigger" vs. "more big"

  1. Does the adjective beautiful, and others like it, have a comparative form? Yes, they do. That particular premise of your post (that beautiful does not have a comparative form) is incorrect. Beautiful is a longer adjective (see the previous, linked post for the details) and the comparative form is more + adjective.

  2. Can more be used together with a comparative to somehow further or more intensely compare two things? In a word, no. More better is incorrect; more taller is incorrect, and more more beautiful is also incorrect. If you want to intensify these comparisons, use much + comparative adjective: much better, much taller, much more beautiful.

  • The OP is assuming adjectives do have a comparative degree; that is not something he is questioning.
    – apaderno
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 14:18
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    Maybe he means that beautifuller is not a word. Then, the OP is not talking of more taller, but more tall.
    – apaderno
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 14:54
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    I have never eaten anybody's hat, nor have I eaten @nohat's hat. You open your answer saying that this question is not a duplicate, but what you are supposing asked from the OP is not what the OP is asking. It seems the OP is (wrongly) using comparative for words like taller, and not more beautiful; when he says beautiful doesn't have the comparative, he means beautifuller is not an English word. Then, he is not asking about more taller, but more tall, for which there is already a question, even if that is about bigger.
    – apaderno
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 15:43
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    @ShawnMooney At the risk of sticking my nose into someone else's conversation, I agree with kiamlaluno. OP is not asking about phrases like "more taller". He explicitly uses the examples "John is more tall than Jack" and "John is taller than Jack" (emphasis mine) to demonstrate his meaning. Thus, your comments regarding the unrelated more taller are off topic; OP simply wants to know whether more tall is correct even though there exists a one-word comparator, "taller", and if so, which is preferred. Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 16:19
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    I am afraid I might have to say that @KenB and kiamlaluno has got my question rightly. Maybe due to my poor word choice Shwan is misled. I am apologizing to Shawn for that.
    – Mistu4u
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 17:44

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