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Thread: more vs. better

  1. #1
    youandcorey's Avatar
    youandcorey is offline Junior Member
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    Default more vs. better

    Can someone offer insight on the usage of more vs. better

    1. I like cats more than dogs.
    2. I like cats better than dogs.

    Would you say that #1 is wrong?

    What is the rule when deciding which is the correct one to use between more or better in regards to use with like?

    3. Please wash the dish more.
    4. Please wash the dish better.

    I'd say both of these are correct, but they have different meaning.

    #3 means you should wash the dish for a longer duration.
    #4 means you should do a better job of washing the dish.

    Do you agree?

    Again, I'm looking for the reasoning of not using "more" when using like in the same sentence but using better instead.

    Thank you in advance for your kind insight!
    Last edited by youandcorey; 27-May-2011 at 02:59.

  2. #2
    JTRiff is offline Member
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    Default Re: more vs. better

    1. I like cats more than dogs.
    2. I like cats better than dogs.

    Would you say that #1 is wrong? No, it's fine.

    3. Please wash the dish more. Maybe 'some more' or 'again'.
    4. Please wash the dish better. Fine. Wash it more thoroughly.


    not a teacher

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: more vs. better

    Quote Originally Posted by youandcorey View Post
    Can someone offer insight on the usage of more vs. better

    1. I like cats more than dogs.
    2. I like cats better than dogs.

    Would you say that #1 is wrong?
    No. If either is wrong, it's 2. This is an example of people not trusting one word enough, that they have to add the same function to an unrelated word, creating a redundancy.
    We don't say, "I hate animals. But I hate dogs better than cats." We use "more than cats". This example shows that 'better than' is not simply functioning as a comparative, but also as a semantic buttress for 'like'.

    "I prefer cats to dogs." Adequate.
    "I prefer cats more than dogs." Unnecessary.
    "I prefer cats better than dogs." Obviously over the top.

    (Note, I'm not claiming that 2 is wrong).

  4. #4
    sunsunmoon is offline Member
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    Default Re: more vs. better

    Do you "like it better" or "like it more" ?
    I like it better / I like it more
    I like it more / I like it better

    I hope these help.


    Quote Originally Posted by youandcorey View Post
    3. Please wash the dish more.
    4. Please wash the dish better.


    #3 means you should wash the dish for a longer duration.
    #4 means you should do a better job of washing the dish.
    I think you should say:
    3. Please wash the dish for a longer time.
    4. Please wash the dish more cleanly.
    Last edited by sunsunmoon; 27-May-2011 at 13:54.

  5. #5
    JTRiff is offline Member
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    Default Re: more vs. better

    Woop, that's right - better slipped right by me. Tsk.
    However...
    Please wash the dish for a longer time, Please wash the dish until it's clean, etc. - are not particularly natural-sounding, compared to, say,
    Please get those dishes clean.
    Keep washing the dishes until they are clean, please.
    Please scrub the dishes well.
    Keep scrubbing those dishes and get them clean as a whistle.

    not a dishwsher

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: more vs. better

    =youandcorey;754124]Can someone offer insight on the usage of more vs. better

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I cannot add to the discussion regarding "more" and "better,"

    but a few years ago, I found a discussion on the difference between

    "most" and "best."

    (2) I am delighted to share this discussion with you, for it

    might (might!!!) help you to sort out the difference between

    "more" and "better."

    (3) "I like most" = refers to the quantity of one's affections.

    (4) "I like best" = refers to the quality of one's affections.

    (5) If I understand the article (full credit will follow), a lady

    prefers that a man say "You are the lady I love most." This

    means something like: I have three lady friends. But you are

    No.l in the QUANTITY of my affections.

    According to this theory, if a man says "You are the lady that

    I love best," this refers to the QUALITY of his affections. It could

    mean that he treats her better than he treats his other lady friends. But

    in some cases, his treatment of her may not be that great to begin with.

    (6) Mr. R.G.B. advanced some of these ideas in a letter published

    in a book entitled On Language by Mr. William Safire, who used to write

    a column on good English for The New York Times. (Mr. Safire did NOT

    comment on Mr. R.G.B.'s theory.)


    Respectfully yours,


    James

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