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    #1

    comparatives - problem!

    Could you explain it to me:

    I can say:

    much more expensive
    a bit more expensive
    expensive
    a bit less expensive
    much less expensive

    but i can't do same with cheaper: much cheaper, a bit cheaper but not less cheap or a bit less cheap

    is there some rule or just usage?

    the trouble is that I have to explain it to my students and I am lost- it's a shame, I know.

  1. #2

    Re: comparatives - problem!

    Disclaimer: I'm not a teacher.

    You can certainly say "less cheap" or "a bit less cheap". My intuition is that "a bit less cheap" suggests that something is still fundamentally cheap (even if it is not as cheap as the thing it is being compared to) whereas "a bit more expensive" emphasizes the fact that you'll have to pay a little more. It may be more common to use "less cheap" in the sense of "less shoddy" than in the sense of "higher in price"; in general, "more expensive" strikes me as less convoluted than "less cheap."

    There's no rule preventing you from saying "less cheap", though. If it's uncommon, I guess you can chalk it up to usage.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: comparatives - problem!

    Quote Originally Posted by magdalena View Post
    Could you explain it to me:

    I can say:

    much more expensive
    a bit more expensive
    expensive
    a bit less expensive
    much less expensive

    but i can't do same with cheaper: much cheaper, a bit cheaper but not less cheap or a bit less cheap

    is there some rule or just usage?

    the trouble is that I have to explain it to my students and I am lost- it's a shame, I know.
    Most adjectives are one or the other: either they have the words more or most in front or the suffixes -er or -est at the end.

    You'd usually say cheaper, not more cheap. You'd never say expensiver - always expensive.

    Shorter words generally use -er, and longer words generally use more. However, I know of no hard rule for choosing. Let us know if you find one!

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]

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    #4

    Re: comparatives - problem!

    Hello,
    Note not a teacher,

    The problem is with the premodifiers with comparatives :
    Check this link. I think it may help.

    PS It's my 200th post.
    Cheers,

    • Member Info
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    #5

    Re: comparatives - problem!

    Hello,
    (not a teacher)

    I've just realised :

    much more expensive
    a bit more expensive

    expensive or cheap (its just point of view )

    a bit less expensive = a bit cheaper
    much less expensive =much cheaper

    Cheers

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