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  1. How severer is it than that?

  2. How more severe is it than that?

  3. How much more severe is it than that?

I wrote the 1st sentence. My friend living in another country objected to it, saying it should be:

How severe is it than that?

how can I use 1st degree of adjective while comparing 'this' with 'that'?

So, which of three of mine is ok?

or simply:

How much severer is it than that?

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    Your friend is wrong; a comparative is needed. You can use either how much severer or how much more severe. Apr 20, 2023 at 11:38

2 Answers 2

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Hmm, Collins does suggest "severer" as the comparative. But I feel that the "more severe" construction would work better here.

And since we are comparing degree of severity, "How much" is the best question phrase. So while it is understandable to ask "How hotter is the tea than the coffee?" it would be better to ask "How much hotter is the tea than the coffee?"

And for the same reason, "How much more severe is it than that?" is the best question to use.

The correction that your friend makes is no good. A comparative form is needed here.

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How much more severe is this than that?

It is severe. It is more severe than that. [comparative]

It is severer than that. [Because two syllable adjectives can take an r for the comparative, you can say how much severer but it's a bit of a tongue twister so "how much more severe is it than that" is easier to say.

It is much more severe than that. [comparative]

severe (an adjective) takes much more (adverbial) as a comparative.

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