There is a confusing rule I've learnt from books and teachers, i.e. the superlative form of an adjective that only has one syllable or two syllables has to end with a suffix "-er" instead of adding "more" in the front, but in this case that in the question I'm going to ask, I wonder if there is an exception, I also want to tell first that I'm not entirely sure whether or not this is a superlative form.

The film was more cool than boring.

I'm trying to construct a sentence that contains two adjectives, where the first adjective corrects the second adjective that describes the subject being introduced. I hope that makes sense. But I'm not sure either if it's supposed to be written this way:

The film was cooler than boring.

From my basic knowledge, on the other hand, I don't think it's a superlative form so I don't need to follow the gramar rule I mentioned in the first paragraph above. I also try to rearrange this way but it doesn't sound nice to my ear:

The film wasn't boring, but it was rather cool.

Could you tell if those sentences arw natural or not? Also, what is your suggestion writing to make it sound good?

  • One can state that, "It's more hot than cold," as a comparison. What does the temperature of a theater have to do with interest, though? Using "cool" as a colloquial expression is fine in conversation, but not in an essay. Jul 1, 2022 at 17:19
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    I believe you're misusing the term superlative, here. Superlatives are the highest degree of something and end with -est. You're talking about comparatives, which end in -er. ef.edu/english-resources/english-grammar/…
    – Dmann
    Jul 1, 2022 at 17:43
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    In the expression It was more [adjective 1] than [adjective 2], more is not the comparative - it means that the subject could better be described as [adjective 1] than as [adjective 2]. Jul 1, 2022 at 18:02
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    I agree with Kate; these are not really comparatives. A comparative is like "This movie is cooler than that movie" (they both possess a degree of coolness, and this one has more of it) but in your sentence you're really saying "It is more this thing (topic, quality, whatever) than it is that thing (other topic, quality, etc.)"
    – stangdon
    Jul 1, 2022 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


You are standing near a blaring siren which is also brightly lit up.
It is irritating you.

You can stand the sound but not the light : "It is more loud than bright." ;
You can stand the light but not the sound : "It is more bright than loud." ;

We can not use louder or brighter here.

It is comparing aspects X & Y (of same Item) and saying which aspect is more ; not which is X-er or Y-er.

In your Example:

You saw the film last week and it had cool scenes and boring scenes. Your overall verdict :
"The film was more cool [[ can not use cooler here ]] than boring."

You saw some other movie this week, which was better in every way. Your overall verdict : "This film was more cool [[ can use cooler here ]] than that film."

It is comparing Items X & Y and saying which Item has more of some same aspect.

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