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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #1

    Question more and more less???

    I am surprised to see that English textbooks in France now tend to suggest less should be used systematically in front of one-syllable adjectives:
    things are now "less big, less clean, less good etc."..
    How much here refers to genuine "good English" usage?
    What about a more advisable (?) use of "not so good, not so clean, not so good when one just does not feel like saying smaller, dirtier or worse?
    Which is, of course totally respectable as "smaller" may not sound or mean the same as "not so big" or (?) "less big" and the same goes for the other examples.
    Thanks a lot.


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    #2

    Re: more and more less???

    Quote Originally Posted by defrasne View Post
    I am surprised to see that English textbooks in France now tend to suggest less should be used systematically in front of one-syllable adjectives:
    things are now "less big, less clean, less good etc."..
    How much here refers to genuine "good English" usage?
    What about a more advisable (?) use of "not so good, not so clean, not so good when one just does not feel like saying smaller, dirtier or worse?
    Which is, of course totally respectable as "smaller" may not sound or mean the same as "not so big" or (?) "less big" and the same goes for the other examples.
    Thanks a lot.
    "less good" does not have the same meaning as "not so good".
    "less good" is a comparative phrase, and has the same meaning as 'not as good'. 'not as good as before' means 'less good than before'. 'not as good' is more commonly used than 'less good'.

    'not so good' is not a (directly) comparative phrase. It just means 'not (very) good'.
    For example, 'less good than perfect' can still be excellent, and is much better than 'not so good'.

    The same applies to "less big", "less clean", etc.

    "smaller", "dirtier" and "worse" are also comparatives that directly compare something to some other thing or things.


















































































    phrasr
    Last edited by 2006; 02-Nov-2007 at 20:35.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: more and more less???

    Thanks...but if you clearly suggest that "not as good as" last year is the equivalent of "less good than" last year, whereas one should not say "not so good as" last year, (which, incidentally, traditional grammars used to advise as the better form) you still do not make it clear if one should preferably say "not as good as last year" OR "less good than last year"

    Here are a few sentences of a kind I have never heard or read, except from children, the same as a lot of them would definitely say "more easy" or even "gooder":

    His car is less fast than mine.
    and then, logically: This car here is the less fast.
    Next we saw an American film; it was less long than the German film and it was less good.
    In this tropical area, the weather in December is not less hot than in June......
    So, how do you rate those sentences
    I am puzzled: getting on in years as I am, I find it difficult to have to admit that I could have been mistaken all along...
    Still, I suppose that seeing one's errors, however late, is "less bad than"
    ignoring them....
    I do thank you in advance for devoting a bit more of your time to those interrogations and remarks.
    Best regards

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    #4

    Re: more and more less???

    Quote Originally Posted by defrasne View Post
    Thanks...but if you clearly suggest that "not as good as" last year is the equivalent of "less good than" last year, whereas one should not say "not so good as" last year, (which, incidentally, traditional grammars used to advise as the better form) you still do not make it clear if one should preferably say "not as good as last year" OR "less good than last year"
    Remember that "so good" means 'very good'. (A...Did you like the movie?--B...Yes, it was so good!) I think 'not so good as...' is a poor phrase, and I wouldn't use it.
    "not as good as..." and "less good than..." are both grammatically correct. I just prefer the first one and I think most English speakers do too.


    Here are a few sentences of a kind I have never heard or read, except from children, the same as a lot of them would definitely say "more easy" or even "gooder":
    It is more efficient to say 'easier' than "more easy". (it's shorter and faster and sounds more natural)
    "gooder" is not correct English; say 'better'.

    His car is less fast than mine.
    and then, logically: This car here is the less fast.
    Next we saw an American film; it was less long than the German film and it was less good.
    In this tropical area, the weather in December is not less hot than in June......
    Most people would say 'just as hot as in June'.


    So, how do you rate those sentences
    I am puzzled: getting on in years as I am, I find it difficult to have to admit that I could have been mistaken all along...
    Still, I suppose that seeing one's errors, however late, is "less bad than"
    ignoring them....
    Most people would say 'not as bad as' or 'better than'.
    I do thank you in advance for devoting a bit more of your time to those interrogations and remarks.
    Best regards
    2006

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