simple or simpler


In English, people often get confused about which terms are proper and not. The simpler or more simple dilemma is a common example.

Simpler or more simple can be used with verbs and nouns or adjectives in English. Since “simpler” modifies a noun, it implies one thing; however, because “more simple” modifies an adjective and not a noun (which usually refers back to multiple things), it implies multiple things. The terms can be used as adverbs, too, but they have very different meanings. Simpler is used to describe one thing or person, while more simple is used to describe multiple things or people.

Read on the extensive explanation about these terms below.

Simpler or More Simple: Everything You Need to Know

Using proper grammar, regardless of the language you speak or write in, will not only assist you in communicating effectively and properly, but it will also prevent you from getting awkward. Finally, when compared to individuals who are unsure of their own words and language usage, good grammar allows us to communicate and write comfortably and confidently in any situation.

Not only that, but you must also be familiar with all of the other writing and language characteristics associated with proper English grammar. Understanding grammar also assists us in understanding what makes phrases and paragraphs clear, entertaining, and accurate. As a writer and reader, good grammar makes things simpler to read through sentences. Of course, professional writing necessitates formal language standards, so having solid grammar skills makes the process much easier.

People do not always utilize perfect grammar when speaking in English. Whether you’re a native English speaker or speaking the language for the first time, it is true. Many common “words” that aren’t exactly words enter discussions. So, what is the difference?

Using simpler or more simple correctly may be trickier than you think.

In the simplest terms, simpler is an adjective, and more simple is an adverb. To be simpler means that the described thing is easier to understand or do. To be more simple means that the thing being described is more easily done. For example: “I like playing games that are more simple.” This sentence would mean that you prefer easy-to-understand and easy-to-play games over those that are difficult or confusing. However, if you were talking about yourself, you might say something like this instead: “I am a person who likes simpler things than others.” In other words, your life may be complicated, but your tastes in entertainment aren’t!

The words simpler and more simple are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Simpler is defined as “easier to understand or do.” It can also describe something with fewer parts or components than something else. For example: “The simpler design of this phone case makes it easier to put on,” or “The simpler solution is always better.” More simple means “more basic or fundamental.”

Furthermore, simpler is used when talking about a single thing, like this sentence: “This painting has a simpler composition than that one.” The word “simpler” modifies the noun “composition,” referring to how the painting is arranged. More simple describes quantifiable qualities, such as number or amount. So this sentence would use more simple: “The baby was born at 7 pounds 6 ounces, making her birth weight more simple than her mother.” It makes sense since we can observe that several kids were born at different weights—the babies here seem to be individual people—and their weights differ by quantity; hence, we can discuss how much less or more simple their weight is compared to each other.

Simpler or More Simple: General Rules

When comparing the simplicity of two-syllable adjectives that do not end in -y, the criteria allow for either form. Most dictionaries list the far more common comparison adjective “simpler.” In some cases, however, you might opt to use “more simple” to emphasize a point or keep the sentence balanced. In some cases, it’s easy to tell if something is simpler or more simple. For example: “I made a simpler version of this recipe.” The word “simpler” is an adjective that describes the noun “version.” So it’s a little easier to tell when something has been made simpler—it’s just an adjective describing another thing. But sometimes, it’s not so clear. For example: “I made a more simple version of this recipe.” Here, we’re talking about two different words with similar meanings—but they’re not synonyms! It can be confusing for readers trying to understand what you mean by “more simple.” 

When you say something is more simple, you mean it has fewer parts than before. If something was complicated before and now it’s not as complicated, then we call that making things simpler. So if your friend says she wants to make her mother’s birthday cake less complicated because he hates figuring out which ingredients go together and which ones don’t, she’d be making her cake more simple by choosing one flavor instead of two or three.

Simplicity is a difficult thing to achieve. In the world of language, simplicity comes in many different forms; some are more complicated than others. Simpler is an adjective that describes something that has fewer parts or elements than another something (noun). Another example: “The shorter route is simpler.” An adverb that describes how easy something is to understand or do is more simple. For example: “The instructions were written more simply.”

Common Examples

When you think about it, there is no major difference in meaning between “simpler” and “more simple.” Because “simpler” refers to something that doesn’t appear hard, having the comparative form means comparing two things that aren’t too challenging. As a result, whether you say, “Your algebra homework is simpler than mine” or “Your algebra homework is more simple than mine,” you’re still comparing the ease with which two activities are completed. Because “simpler” requires seven letters but “more simple” requires ten, one is just shorter or simpler than the other. The most popular form is “simpler,” which is easier and shorter to write. Using the phrase “more simple” in a statement, on the other hand, can emphasize the similarity.

Even though all of the examples are accurate, check if you can see the differences in emphasis between the “simpler” and “more simple” examples.

  • Your discussion is simpler than that of the Professor.
  • Your discussion is more simple than that of the Professor.
  • She is doing a simpler workout than I am.
  • She is doing a more simple workout than I am.

Using the comparative form with “more” is less popular than using “simpler,” but it helps emphasize what you’re comparing.

While both forms of these sentences express the same thing, “simpler” allows you to get to the point faster. It has one fewer syllable than “more simple,” giving it a more natural tone. While both can be used (especially in casual chats), it’s always better to get to the point quickly and use fewer words.

When to Use Simpler

When you want to compare two things, use simpler. For example:

  • The simpler of these two programs is free.
  • It’s easier to learn French than Spanish because its grammar is simpler than Spanish’.

You can also use simpler when comparing something with itself in different situations or conditions—for example:

  • Simpler versions of popular websites will load faster and require less memory on your computer.

A comparative form of simple, simpler is used to compare two things. However, unlike the excellent form of simple (simplest), simpler is not used to compare things that are equal or identical. For example:

  • She has two younger sisters, but her brother is the youngest child in the family.
  • Her sister’s hair is longer than hers, and she has more freckles than her brother.

This word can also be used as an adverb to describe something as being less complicated or complex than another thing of its type: “The game was much simpler for him because he knew all about it beforehand.”

When to Use More Simple

To properly use more simple, you must understand the difference between the two terms: “simple” and “complex.” A simple word has only one meaning and cannot be broken down into smaller parts. For example, the word “dog” is simple because it means one thing and nothing else; no matter what context it is used in or how many times it appears in a sentence, its meaning never changes from “dog.” On the other hand, a complex word can be broken down into smaller parts, and each part has its meaning. For example, the word “snowflake” refers to something small and white; however, if we break down the word into its parts — snow and flakes.

It would be best to use more simple when the base word is simple. Did you know that writing a short essay is simpler than writing a long one? Likewise, if you want to make your writing easier on yourself (and your readers), you can use more simple words instead of complex ones.

Knowing when to use simpler or more simple can seem tricky, but it comes down to your base word.

If you’re using the comparative word “simpler,” like in “a simpler way,” you’re comparing two things. If you’re using the absolute adjective, like in “it’s simpler (or simply simple) than that,” you mean three or more things are being compared.

So if your sentence includes a comparative word like “simpler,” it should take simpler; if it includes an absolute word such as “more” or just an adjective by itself (like “simply”), then it will be more simple. For example:

  • This is a simpler way to make coffee.
  • That’s more simple than other ways to make coffee.

The first example uses a comparative, so it takes simpler: this is a simpler way to make coffee. The second example uses an absolute, so it takes more simple: That’s more simple than other coffee-making methods.

What are the Comparative Adjectives rules?

An adjective that compares two individuals or objects is called a comparative adjective. We employ comparative adjectives when we remark that one person or item displays a high level of quality or is a better representation of a quality than another.

The following are the rules for constructing comparatives from a positive adjective form:

  • Most one-syllable adjectives should end in -er. Clear, for example, grows clearer. Simply add -r to an adjective that ends in -e. For instance, free becomes freer. Before adding -er, you could substitute the -y with a -i if the adjective ends in -y. Dry, for example, grows drier, while shy becomes shier or shyer.
  • Double the final consonant before adding -er to one-syllable adjectives that finish in consonant-vowel-consonant. For instance, big gets bigger and wet gets wetter.
  • Drop the -y, replace it with a -i, and add -er to two-syllable adjectives that finish in Y. Rainy, for example, gets rainier, ugly, and uglier.
  • Add -er to the end of two-syllable adjectives that end in -er, -le, or -ow. Narrow becomes narrower, and simple becomes simpler.
  • Add the word more or less to the positive form of all two-syllable or longer adjectives. Acceptable grows more acceptable, for example, and unmanageable becomes less unmanageable.

Additional Examples

When comparing two things, you’re likely to use adjectives like shorter, larger, higher, more exciting, and less expensive. Take note of the er ending and the terms more and less. Both native and non-native speakers make mistakes using incorrectly constructed comparative adjectives. For an example of this typical mistake, consider the following sentences:

Correct: My dog is bigger than his cat.

Incorrect: My dog is more big than his cat.

So, how can we be certain that simpler is the correct form? Because, in general, comparative adjectives with two or fewer syllables require a -er at the end. Consider the following examples:

One- and two-syllable words

  • Simple – Simpler – Simplest

The boy’s explanation is very simple.

His explanation is simpler than mine.

Mark’s explanation is the simplest among all the students.

  • Fat – Fatter – Fattest

That is a fat pig.

This pig is fatter than the other one.

This is the fattest pig I’ve ever seen.

Three or more syllables

If an adjective contains three or more syllables, you will usually add “more” or “most.” 

Before the word when using it in a comparative statement or question. As an example:

  • Expensive – More expensive – Most expensive

She bought an expensive bag.

I bought a more expensive bag at the mall.

My mother bought the most expensive bag in the store.

  • Difficult – More Difficult – Most Difficult

This exam is difficult

Yesterday’s exam is more difficult than the one given today.

This exam is the most difficult I’ve ever taken.

Rule Exceptions

While the two-syllable rule applies for deciding whether an adjective is more simple or simpler, it does not apply to all two-syllable adjectives. There are, in reality, many exceptions. In many circumstances, two-syllable nouns that do not end in -y utilize the comparative forms “more” and “most” (though not always). As an example:

  • Famous – More famous – Most famous

Ana is famous in their town.

Janine is more famous in their town

Mary is the most famous in their town.

  • Honest – More honest – Most honest

Leo was honest about the situation.

Kyle was more honest about the situation.

Kaye was most honest about the situation.

Importance of following Grammar Rules

Grammar describes how words are structured in a sentence. When you talk or write, you must arrange the words so that others may understand the words or writing. People feel more at ease when they follow the rules. Understanding rules makes students happy. Understanding grammar rules gives kids confidence that they have been learning English.

Grammar rules can help you perform well on an English exam. When we obtain a good

grade on an exam, we feel proud of ourselves. We can speak English if we earn a decent grade on a test, right? Wrong. Let’s be real. Grammar rules are easier to learn than reading and listening. However, it will not assist you in speaking. You must know the correct word order if you wish to speak English well. It can be accomplished via learning collocations, phrases, and sentences rather than memorizing rules.

Do not consider English grammar to be a set of rules. Consider grammar to be the foundation of a building or construction that supports the remainder of the structure. The core of English is grammar. Verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, and prepositions are all part of the language. These words serve diverse functions. Grammar serves as the foundation for good communication.

In the same way that a badly constructed telephone wire might generate static during a phone conversation, poor grammar can distort the sense and clarity of an intended message. Grammar improves the readability and interest of written text. When it is required to rephrase sentences while reading, the momentum is disturbed, and interest in the story is interrupted.

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