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Clearer vs. More Clear

Some concepts in English are clearer than others, and some are more clear when told in a different manner. Isn’t it? While Microsoft word doesn’t like the word ‘more clear’ and doesn’t accept it without the blue lines, it is perfectly fine to use ‘more clear’ in some contexts. In this article, let us see how both clearer and more clear make sense and can be used for perfectly valid sentences.

2:48 min read
  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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Clear (adjective)

When something is understandable or transparent, we say it is clear. Some examples would be – ‘The water is crystal clear’¸ The concept is ‘clear’.

Clearer, clearly is the comparative degree made in a similar manner as many other adjectives that end with -er and -est in comparative and superlative forms. For example, thicker, weaker, sharper, colder, darker etc…

In general, words with one syllable use -er to form comparatives. Thus, clearer is a natural comparative choice for clear. Examples

There are some words that aren’t satisfied just by adding -er to make comparatives. They want something ‘more’. These are the words with multisyllables. For example, more beautiful, more horrible, more careful etc…

Even though clear has only one syllable, the word ‘more clear’ is in usage for a long time now, and though we don’t know how it came into existence, as of today, it is perfectly valid. You can always replace clearer in all the above examples with more clear.

  • The sky is more clear today than it was yesterday because of the rains.
  • Thanks to your notes, I am more clear with the concepts now than I was before.
  • Rain water is more clear than the tap water that you brought.

You may not be totally convinced with this replacement, but it is grammatically correct. Also, even if you are not fully satisfied, read the second example, you might feel much better. In the second example, the usage of ‘more clear’ looks perfectly appropriate. This could be because the sentence has a more formal tone.

Which means, apart from the fact that usage of clearer or more clear is a personal choice, we can use ‘more clear’ for formal sentence structures. Examples

More clearly

Clearly, because of the -ly, becomes an adverb. Adding more before clearly, can be correct in some contexts, but not all. Example

Open the windows so that I can see clearly. Open the windows so that I can see more clearly.

Here, both the sentences are correct.

I want to make my purpose more clear. I want to make my purpose more clearly.

See the difference in both sentences. The second sentence is grammatically incorrect. If we replace the word make with “express”, the second sentence would be correct while the first one will become incorrect.

I want to express my purpose more clear. I want to express my purpose more clearly.

Similarly – how to talk more clearly in front of others? And not – how to talk more clear in front of others?

More clearer

Clearer is already a comparative form, more is also used for comparative. It is meaningless to use two comparatives at the same time. Hence, it is incorrect to say “more clearer”.

Clearly, clearer is more clear in terms of the natural choice based on the syllable rule of grammar. However, we can use ‘more clear’ as well, especially for formal tones or talks, which is perfectly fine!

Clearer vs. More Clear

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Have a discussion about this article with the community:

  • xemnu_t
    I believe "more clear" is more acceptable in the second example because it's a subjective meaning. The first and third examples refer to a material condition.
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • Natalie Hull
    Natalie Hull
    If something is clear it can't be more clear, if something is not clear than it can become clearer or more clear. But once it's clear it can't be moreso
    LikeReply 23 years ago
    • Caroline Drumgoole
      Caroline Drumgoole
      LikeReply 13 years ago
    • Ohhy
      Is not this a kind of statement that is called sophism?
      LikeReply3 years ago
    • davido.04102
      No logical person would conclude the use of than in place of then was part of the sophism, it would take an arm the length of 99 feet to make such a reach.
      LikeReply1 year ago


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