Comparisons are a great way to express yourself descriptively. For example, instead of saying, “That is a big ship,” you might say, “That ship is bigger than a whale.” So, when it comes to the adjective “angry,” is it correct to say “more angry” when making a comparison?
It is incorrect to say “more angry.” Instead, you should use the word “angrier,” which is the comparative version of the adjective “angry.” For example, you could say, “The student was angrier than normal.” Anger is a strong emotion, but comparison can help you describe and quantify it.
This article will help you learn why “more angry” is incorrect and how to use “angrier” instead correctly.
What Does “More Angry” Mean?
When people incorrectly say “more angry,” they mean “feeling or showing anger or strong resentment to a higher degree.” The word “angrier” has the same meaning and is the correct word to use.
“More” is an adverb that means “to a greater or higher degree” (source). However, “angry” is an adjective that means “feeling or showing anger or strong resentment” (source). “Angrier” is an adjective that has the same meaning as “angry” but in a comparative manner.
- Incorrect: Her mom was more angry than her dad.
- Correct: Her mom was angrier than her dad.
Sometimes, you’ll modify an adjective with the word “more” to create a comparative adjective. Other times, such as in the case of “angrier,” the comparative adjective is a new word altogether. This is why “more angry” and “angrier” have the same meaning, but only one is correct.
Though the definition of the incorrect “more angry” is the same as the correct “angrier,” the comparison is different depending on context. For example, one can be “angrier” than someone else, or “angrier” than some previous time, or “angrier” with one thing over another.
You can make the referent clear in various ways we will explore throughout this article.
How Do You Use “More Angry”?
It is not correct to use “more angry.” Instead, you should use “angrier” as the proper comparative adjective to describe anger to a certain degree.
So, what exactly is a comparative adjective? It is a type of adjective that modifies the objects in the sentence and compares and highlights differences between two things. In this case, you would use “angrier” to highlight differences between two objects or a different degree of anger.
One way you might use “angrier” is to compare past expressions of anger. Here are some examples:
- She is angrier today than she was last night.
- The boy often has a bad temper but is angrier today than usual.
You can also use “angrier” to compare or contrast two people or objects. For example:
- When the boys got caught skipping school, Adam’s dad was angrier than James’s.
- When the boy lost his permission slip again, the teacher was angrier than his parents.
When Can You Use “More Angry”?
It is not correct to use “more angry” and “angrier” interchangeably, so there are no instances when it would be suitable to use “more angry.” However, you can pair “angrier” with a past, present, or future tense verb and use it in writing or speech.
You can use “angrier” in the past tense to discuss the emotion in the past.
- When she caught her cheating, the teacher was angrier than I’d ever seen her before.
- When I missed the deadline, I didn’t know who was angrier: my boss or the client.
You can use “angrier” in the present tense to observe someone or something’s anger:
- He seems angrier than usual.
- She seems angrier with the teacher than the rest of the parents.
You can use “angrier” in the future tense to predict someone or something being angry in the future:
- He will be angrier than a hornet when he finds out I failed my math test.
- When he hears that I missed class, he’ll be angrier than when I failed my science exam.
Using “More Angry” in a Full Sentence
Although “more angry” is an incorrect phrase, it is a common mistake. Below, we’ll provide several examples of sentences incorrectly using this phrase and the correct way to use its proper alternatives.
You should place “angrier” after a “to be” verb or right before the subject it describes.
- Incorrect: His daughter was more angry than his son.
- Correct: His daughter was angrier than his son.
- Incorrect: The mama bear was more angry than the rest of the bears.
- Correct: The mama bear was angrier than the rest of the bears.
- Incorrect: The more angry man yelled at the referee until he was escorted off the field.
- Correct: The angrier man yelled at the referee until he was escorted off the field.
When Not to Use “More Angry”
You should never use “more angry” because “angrier” is the correct comparative adjective. However, there are also instances when “angrier” might not be accurate, such as when you need a superlative adjective instead or when a comparison is unnecessary.
You should not use “angrier” without providing context for what you are comparing. For example, it is incorrect to say “He was angrier” as a complete sentence unless you give more details in a prepositional phrase, a clause beginning with “than,” or a separate but conjoining sentence.
- He was angrier at Jim than George.
- He was angrier than I’ve ever seen him.
- He was angrier than before, but he’ll calm down soon.
It is also incorrect to say “angrier” when describing the highest degree of anger. In this case, you should use the superlative adjective “angriest.” We provide more details on superlative adjectives below.
What Can You Use Instead of “More Angry”?
As we’ve described in this article, the most common word you should use instead of “more angry” is “angrier.” However, similar adjectives might be more accurate, depending on the context.
Some adjectives do not have multiple versions; instead, you will create a comparative version by pairing the adjective with the word “more.” Here are some examples of comparative adjectives with similar meanings to “angrier” that contain “more” (source):
- More furious
- More irritated
- More enraged
- More outraged
If anger is not the correct emotion that you’re trying to describe, you might consider some of the following adjectives instead:
- Sad, or sadder
- Disappointed, or more disappointed
- Frustrated, or more frustrated
- Annoyed, or more annoyed
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
Comparative and superlative adjectives are the two types of adjectives you should use when describing the degrees of a particular description (source).
For example, in the case of the adjective “angry,” the correct comparative adjective is “angrier,” and the proper superlative adjective is “angriest.”
Comparative and superlative adjectives require some practice and memorization; over time, you’ll learn which adjectives gain a new ending to create a comparative or superlative version and which ones you must pair with an adverb, such as “more” or “most.” This skill will broaden your ability to describe people, objects, events, and more.
As mentioned, comparative adjectives are a modified version of an adjective that describes differences between two objects. Comparative adjectives are often formed by adding an “-er” or “-ier” suffix to an adjective or by modifying the adjective with the adverb “more” or “less.”
Here are some examples of comparative adjectives with an “-er” or “-ier” ending:
Here are some examples of comparative adjectives using “more” or “less”:
- More educated
- More patient
- Less spicy
- Less quiet
Superlative adjectives are modified versions of adjectives that describe an object at the highest or lowest degree of a particular description. We often form these by adding an “-est” or “-iest” suffix to an adjective or by modifying the adjective with the adverbs “most” or “least.”
Here are some examples of superlative adjectives with an “-est” or “-iest” ending:
Here are some examples of superlative adjectives using “most” or “least”:
- Most improved
- Most similar
- Least likely
- Least troublesome
You’ll notice that we usually pair adjectives ending in “-ed” with a word such as “more” rather than modifying the suffix. This is because adding two suffixes would be grammatically incorrect. So, for example, it would not be grammatically correct to say “annoyeder.”
One more detail to notice is that you will always pair comparative or superlative adjectives describing something to a lesser degree with “less” or “least” because there is no suffix you can use instead.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
To learn more about comparative and superlative adjectives, consider reading this article: Is It Correct to Say “More Better?
Comparative and superlative adjectives, such as “angrier,” are an effective way to add a more accurate description to your sentences. They allow you to use comparison to illustrate a detailed description and make it more relevant and impactful to the listener or reader.
Anger is a strong emotion, so it is often essential to provide more detail about how strongly the emotion is being felt or expressed. Instead of simply saying, “She is angry,” learning how to use the word “angrier” allows you to say something like, “She was angrier than everyone else in the meeting,” which is a more effective and helpful description.