Sometimes things are easy, and sometimes things are hard. Since these two adjectives are opposites, there’s a clear comparison between them. But what if you want to compare two things that are not direct opposites? In that case, is it correct to say something is “more easy”?
It is correct to say “more easy,” but uncommon. Usually, we amplify a three-syllable or more adjective by using “more.” However, there is no grammatical rule against using it to modify two-syllable adjectives like “easy.” So “Fishing is more easy than hiking” is correct but less common than “Fishing is easier than hiking.”
Read on to learn more about the phrase and see how to use it in everyday comparisons properly.
What Does “More Easy” Mean?
You can use “more” in various parts of speech, but the phrase “more easy” serves as an adverb phrase where “more” modifies the adjective “easy.” When we say something is “more,” we identify it as greater or additional (source).
We use “more” as an adverb because adjectives can have degrees of magnitude. Adding “more” (or the appropriate suffix – more on that later) helps us specify exactly to what degree we mean (source). This helps us compare things, which is why we label these comparative adjectives.
Since we just mentioned degrees, let’s consider this in terms of temperature. If it were 90°F outside, you would probably say it was “hot.” However, this doesn’t mean that 90°F is the maximum hot temperature it can be. If it hit 100°F, it would be “hotter” or “more hot.” Using “more” compares the one hot temperature, 90°F, to the higher hot temperature, 100°F.
You can do the same thing with the adjective “easy.” To compare two things, we can show that one has a greater magnitude of easiness than another.
- It is more easy to run on a track than up a hill.
Here, we’re comparing two different places to run. By using “more easy,” we show that the activities are similar, but one will be a bigger challenge.
How Do You Use “More Easy”?
We discussed that, in the case of “more easy,” “more” is an adverb modifying the adjective “easy.” When we use it, both words serve as an adjective. As a reminder, an adjective is the part of speech that describes another person or thing in a sentence.
Since “more easy” is a descriptive term, any sentence that uses it must still include a subject and a verb. It has to be describing something! The sentence structure can vary, but you’ll never want to separate “more” and “easy” if you’re using them together as a comparative adjective.
When Can You Use “More Easy”?
You should use “more easy” when comparing two things that are not opposites. If one thing is hard and one is easy, those should be your descriptive words to paint a better picture. Usually, we use the phrase when the two things compared are either similarly easy or similarly hard.
In our earlier example, we compared running on a track to running up a hill. For most people, running at all will probably be somewhat difficult! Because of that, when we compare the two, we say one was “more easy” rather than saying one was easy and one was hard.
We can make a similar comparison with two things that someone finds easy. A student who excels in school might say, “I thought the science test was easy, but the math test was more easy.” This shows us that neither test was challenging for the student, but the math test was less of a challenge than the science test.
However, in all of these situations, native speakers will likely opt for “easier” rather than “more easy” because “easier” is easier to say. For example, native English speakers are more likely to say:
- Running on a track is easier than running up a hill.
- I thought the science test was easy, but the math test was easier.
Using “More Easy” in a Full Sentence
When we use “more easy” in a full sentence, it should always modify a noun. This noun can be the subject or the object of your sentence, depending on your structure. Sometimes, you outright state the two things you compare, while your listeners simply understand the comparison at other times.
Below are a few examples of using the phrase in a complete sentence.
- Her dress was more easy to get than mine.
- Drawing with crayons is okay, but I think it’s more easy to draw with markers.
- Is the new computer going to be more easy to use than the one we had before?
Though “more easy” is not technically wrong, native English speakers prefer “easier” in the above sentences.
When Not to Use “More Easy”
Using “more easy” is grammatically correct, but there is another grammatically correct way to express the same thing: “easier.” Rather than placing “more” in front of the word “easy,” we change the end, or suffix, to something that means “more.”
For many adjectives, this suffix is just “-er.” Think of words like “hard,” which becomes “harder,” or “dark,” which becomes “darker.” However, when the word ends in a “-y,” like “easy,” you replace the “y” with an “i” and add “-er” to the end: “easier.”
Making this y-to-i replacement can get confusing, which is why it is also correct to say “more easy.” But, depending on what you’re doing, your speech or writing will flow better if you use “easier.”
Additionally, if you’re writing academically or formally, you should avoid “more easy” as it is an informal construction. Usually, “technically correct” terms don’t fly in semiformal or formal writing. “More easy” is one of these terms, so avoid using it in such cases.
As we’ve said, the phrase is a comparative adjective. Using it requires comparing two or more things. If you are not comparing two things but rather saying that one thing stands out for how easy it is, you’ll want to use “most easy” or “easiest.”
These are superlative adjectives, which we’ll discuss more later. You should never use the comparative “more” with a superlative adjective; something can be “more easy” or “most easy,” but never “more most easy.”
What Can You Use Instead of “More Easy”?
As we said above, “easier” is always an acceptable (and preferred) substitute for “more easy.” The “-ier” suffix at the end adds the same meaning that “more” would. Which one you use depends on whether you are writing informally or formally.
When writing something with comparisons of easiness, you will probably want to use different words to add some variety to your writing. Luckily, “easy” has a lot of synonyms.
The chart below lists some synonyms of easy that you can use in the same way to express comparison with “more” before it. Also included is the one-word version for the words that have it, like “easier” for “easy.” Not all of them will, as you add “more” to words with three or more syllables (source).
|Adjective||Comparative with More||Comparative Form|
|accessible||more accessible||N/A (not applicable)|
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
While comparative adjectives typically compare two things to one another, we use superlative adjectives to compare a singular subject to a group of objects (source). As the name suggests, superlative adjectives describe something that stands out from the rest.
Think again of running, this time in a race. If in one race you came in fifth and in the next, you came in third, you ran “faster” or “more fast” the second time. However, you still weren’t the “fastest” or “most fast” person in the race. To be the fastest, you’d have to come in first.
“Fastest” or “most fast” are examples of superlative adjectives. With the first-place runner, we can see that they alone are the fastest in the race.
A superlative adjective takes a quality (the base adjective, like fast) and amplifies the degree to the upper or lower limit. “Fastest” is an upper-limit superlative adjective; “slowest” would be a lower-limit example.
One easy way to spot and remember many superlative adjectives is to think of them as “-st” adjectives. They become superlative either by adding “most” in front of them or by adding the suffixes “-st” or “-est.”
So, “easy” becomes comparative as “more easy” or “easier” and superlative as “most easy” or “easiest.” The same thing would happen with “dark,” to become “darker” or “more dark” to become “darkest” or “most dark.”
There are some irregular adjectives, meaning they don’t follow the “more” or “-er” suffix pattern for the comparative or the “most” or “-st” suffix pattern for the superlative. A common example is “good.” “Gooder” and “goodest” are never correct. The comparative and superlative versions of “good” are “better” and “best.”
To read more about comparative and superlative versions of “good,” check out this article: Is It Correct to Say “More Better”?
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
While comparative and superlative adjectives can get a little confusing, especially when they’re irregular, they’re important to use correctly to ensure that readers understand the message you’re working to convey. Adjectives give writing specificity and elevate it from simple to detailed and intriguing.
“More easy” is a grammatically correct comparative adjective; using it properly can help clarify your speaking. Whatever items you’re comparing, it’s important to ensure your comparison is logical and clear. Hopefully, this article makes it eaiser for you to tackle comparative adjectives in your work!