English Vocabulary


> handsome > handsomer > handsomest

Hi All
I am not perfect in English so that is the reason why I am not sure what is right or wrong.


What is the comparative or superlative of handsome?


> handsome > handsomer > handsomest


GymGlish > instead of handsomer use > more handsome


GymGlish wrote “The word 'handsomer' does not exist.” but if you have a look at the www. dictionaries you find the word.
May somebody know the answer what is right or wrong?


Thank you for your answers in advance


Ralf

5 comments

  • Hi Ralf,


    First of all I'd like to make a handsome apology for not having been able to answer your request in advance.


    Moreover I make a second handsome apology for not being able to close the matter here. I'll just tell you that I'd say more handsome rather than handsomer, even though handsomer might have been used by some writers. I for one try to speak as most English speakers do. Therefore I'll confess that there are some women who are is more handsome than my girlfriend.


    This is my opinion. Nothing more. English is a loose language, isn't it? But so far I trusted GymGlish.
    Gee
  • Hi Ralf and Gee,


    I was a bit puzzled when I had a look at www.dictionaries because they say that handsomer is correct.
    On the other hand, you say that GG rejected it, which didn't come as a surprise to me. If you want to have a rule, go to:


    http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/330/grammar/regcom.htm


    Then I decided to ask a British relative of mine,who used to be an English teacher. Here is my question:


    I've read the following sentence: "He is handsomer than his brother". I had always said: more handsome. Are both correct or am I wrong?


    Here is his (British!)answer:
    "I have heard this expression but it would be rarely used and is definitely not good English, but of course slang isn't either. I would stick to 'more handsome'".


    So, let's not worry too much and let's appreciate the fact that English is a very flexible language!


    Silky
  • English is a very flexible language.
    Silky has an incredible knowledge.
    She's got inexhaustible sources.
    Thanks to her for her convincing discourses.
  • It's best to say 'more handsome' or 'most handsome' here. If you ask me, 'handsomer' is a very archaic term: it's not technically incorrect, but should only be used with a good deal of poetic license (or irony)!
  • cleverer or more clever
    Quieter or more quiet
    Handsomer or more handsome
    Crueler or more cruel
    commoner or more common


    All that is perfect, according to very serious dictionaries such as Collins and Merriam-Webster's. And if you take a look through the internet, you‘ll see that some people agree with that classic list of exceptions, even if it‘s falling into disuse.


    Nowadays, more and more people don’t hesitate to ignore those former exceptions, using only the common construction: 'more + adjective’. Isn’t it because it’s just easier to forget it?


    But still!


    Year in, year out, it seems that ‘handsome’ is still popular even among young people as the handsomest adjective ever. A good way to get smart with each other? May be! Let’s say I do like this idea.


    So, I guess we aren’t through with deciding between the two.


    I’m not.

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