Language is a humorous factor. Although it purports to have clear guidelines, these guidelines are consistently being damaged or modified.
The factor that most individuals neglect is that language isn’t like math. It isn’t made up of inflexible guidelines that by no means change with time.
As a substitute, language is a residing, respiratory creature, one which evolves with time. And, this evolution might be attributed to the customers of the language in query.
If you need to see this evolution in progress, you needn’t look additional than how English has modified from the 1600s to present-day English, the one you and I communicate.
Furthermore, nearly each language spoken at the moment might be traced again to an older, extra archaic kind. As an illustration, French comes from Latin, but Latin is a lifeless language at the moment.
And, how does all of this evolution occur?
Easy. It takes place by means of minuscule modifications that preserve compounding over time, and most of those modifications begin off as somebody breaking the “guidelines.”
For a transparent instance of how a violation of the “guidelines” has turn out to be the norm, we will have a look at the comparative type of the adjective “free” and take a look at to reply a easy query.
Is the right comparative kind “freer” or “extra free”?
So far as the “guidelines” are involved, the right kind needs to be “freer.” But, as you might need already guessed, this isn’t essentially the case. Right this moment, not solely is “extra free” utilized by loads of people, but it surely has additionally turn out to be the extra widespread utilization out of the 2. So, the reply to our little query is that, virtually talking, each kinds are appropriate, and which one you utilize relies upon by yourself stylistic decisions.
A more in-depth have a look at the foundations that govern comparatives
When do you add “-er” to the top of an adjective, and when do you utilize the phrase “extra”?
Really, there are a number of guidelines of thumb that individuals be taught early on, and so they all rely upon the size of the adjective you’re making an attempt to broaden on.
For starters, if the adjective is one syllable lengthy, then you need to use the suffix “-er.”
Huge turns into larger, whereas small turns into smaller.
There are six exceptions to the one-syllable rule, and they’re “good,” “dangerous,” “far,” “little,” “many,” and “a lot.” If something, these six adjectives change fully when used of their comparative kinds.
A good pupil can get higher till they’re the best.
A dangerous trainer can get worse till they’re the worst.
A far automobile can drive farther till it reaches the farthest distance doable from its start line.
Apparently, the adjective “little” takes on completely different kinds relying on its meaning. “Little” can both mean “small in measurement” or “small quantity.”
The little goat performed with a littler one, all of the whereas ignoring the littlest goat on the farm.
On this instance, “little” means “small in measurement.”
This utilization might shock because it’s not fairly often that individuals use this model of little in a comparative style. Nonetheless, you’re in all probability extra aware of the opposite utilization, that of “small quantity.”
I had a little quantity of soup in my bowl, however he had much less. And, she had the least.
As for “many” and “a lot,” these two adjectives really share the identical comparative kind. You see, each “many” and “a lot” are used to discuss portions, however whereas “many” is used with countable nouns, “a lot” is reserved for uncountable nouns.
I noticed many vehicles cross the bridge, however she noticed extra. Nonetheless, Adam noticed the most of us.
They don’t have a lot water left. When you’ve got extra water, you need to give them some. Susan has the most water within the village, however she gained’t share it with anybody.
For 2-syllable adjectives, it relies upon.
For a lot of two-syllable adjectives, you possibly can add the “-er” prefix, together with most two-syllable adjectives that finish in “y.”
A intelligent boy can turn out to be cleverer. And, a comfortable girl can turn out to be even happier. A slim can get narrower, however a foolish particular person mustn’t turn out to be sillier.
Alternatively, some two-syllable adjectives all the time take “extra” earlier than them.
A weird story might flip even more strange. And, if somebody is understood to be steadfast, they’ll be taught to be extra steadfast with time.
So, how are you able to inform which two-syllable adjectives take the suffix “-er” and which of them take “extra”?
Effectively, the best choose is expertise right here. You’ll simply have to be taught it the exhausting method, studying every particular person phrase.
As for three-syllable adjectives, you all the time have to use “extra.”
A troublesome subject might turn out to be tougher. And, a memorable second might flip even extra memorable.
It’s value stating that every thing stated about “-er” and “extra” equally applies to “-est” and “most.”
The shy boy quickly turned the shiest boy at school, and the good woman turned out to be the smartest one.
Alternatively, the aggressive participant was the most aggressive particular person on his crew. Additionally, the confused referee was the most confused official I’ve ever seen.
How does the rule apply to “free”?
Seeing as “free” is a one-syllable adjective, the usual rule of thumb we’ve simply seen says that the right kind is to add “-er” on the finish of the adjective, making “freer” the right grammatical reply.
The sensible utilization “freer” vs “extra free”
Although the foundations say that we must always use “freer,” individuals have been more and more utilizing “extra free.” In truth, individuals have been utilizing “extra” with a number of one-syllable adjectives.
He loved feeling extra free than he had ever felt earlier than.
The steep highway was changing into even extra steep.
This may hold forth to many, however there are those that go for this kind. And, they aren’t essentially incorrect.
In any case, the foundations governing “-er” vs. “extra” are nearer to being tips than they’d be exhausting and quick guidelines.
Nonetheless, even the exhausting guidelines of grammar are units of conventions that all of us agree to observe, and will we determine to collectively change the foundations, that implies that the grammar would accordingly change.
Extra importantly, when evaluating the diploma of two adjectives, the usage of “extra” tends to be a smart resolution.
She’s extra clever than good.
So, what do you have to use “freer” or “extra free”?
It’s totally up to you, and no matter you select might be a purely stylistic selection. That stated, one choice you may determine to go together with is to use one in formal writing and use the opposite in casual writing and colloquial speech.
Once more, it’s your name.
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