I am wondering what is the comparative of "manual", the adjective that expresses doing something involving or using human effort.

Is it correct to say: "If you want want to achieve that task, you should do something more manual"? and a side question: should I use "manually" instead of "manual" in this case?

  • 1
    There really isn't such a thing. If something isn't fully automatic, and not fully manual, then often it's described with other adjectives -- such as "power brakes" in cars. Jul 27, 2021 at 14:23
  • Manual means 'relating to or done with the hands'. There isn't a comparative except, "Use BOTH hands". Or perhaps you need "Try harder" or "Put your back into it!" Jul 27, 2021 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


If you want want to achieve that task, you should do something more manual.

This is correct.

Manually turns manual into an adverb - which doesn't work.

However, the word manual when used like this might have a strong connotation of "blue-collar labor" - working on cars, building houses, literally getting your hands dirty, etc.

An option is to use it's antonym automated - e.g. "you should do something less automated."

  • Good point about using a (negated / diminished) antonym. I can't think of examples offhand, but I'm sure there will be many contexts in English where less/more [antonym] would be far more idiomatic than more/less [synonym]. Jul 27, 2021 at 15:02
  • Thank you @LawrenceC. Great and clear answer.
    – Ivan Yoed
    Jul 27, 2021 at 15:04

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