MORE or MOST?

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April 8, 2013 by bradcharlesbeals

rulerWRONG: There are two dogs in my yard. The schnauzer is the biggest.

RIGHT: There are two dogs in my yard. The schnauzer is the bigger.

This common misstep is an easy one to fix. A few examples usually do the trick. Note the number of things being compared. That determines which form to use:

I have two sons. Charlie is the older, Lewis the younger.

I have five sons. Charlie is the oldest, and Bennett is the youngest.

And here’s the rule for those needing a rule: The comparative (-er ending) form of an adjective is used for comparing two people or things, while the superlative (-st ending) is used for comparing one person or thing with every other member of a group of three or more.

And when an adjective takes the more/most form, the idea is the same:

Of my two boys, Lewis is the more athletic.

Of all my sons, Charlie is the most affable.

Of all the grammar rules, this is one of the simplest to learn.

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