Clearer or More Clear? Step-By-Step Guide (Explained For Beginners)

When we use a comparative adjective, we usually use “more” or “less” before the word. There are different rules for how this applies, and sometimes the suffix “-er” is needed. So, let’s look at whether it’s clearer or more clear.

Which Is Correct: “Clearer” Or “More Clear”?

“Clearer” and “more clear” are both grammatically correct, but “clearer” is the preferred choice. When using a one-syllable adjective like “clear,” we have to add the suffix “-er” to the end of it when turning it into a comparative adjective. Multiple-syllable adjectives like “difficult” requires a “more” in the beginning.

Which Is Correct: "Clearer" Or "More Clear"?

If you don’t know what “clear” means, you can refer to The Cambridge Dictionary. Here, “clear” is defined as “easy to understand, hear, read, or see.”

Saying something is “clearer” means it’s easier to understand than something else in the context.

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Is It More Common To Say “Clearer” Or “More Clear”?

As we said, both forms of spelling are correct. However, it’s less common for people to use the phrase “more clear” in place of the comparative form “clearer.”

Clearer vs. more clear historical usage graph

If you reference this graph, you can see just how popular “clearer” is compared to “more clear.” We use it a lot more often than “more clear” because it follows the same rules as other one-syllable words.

While the rules allow for both spelling variations, using one-syllable adjectives means we add “-er” to the end of them when turning them into a comparative. To show the other side of this, with more than one syllable, we typically include the word “more” instead.

  • Clearer
  • Harder
  • More interesting
  • More boring

Example Sentences

Now let’s look at some example sentences. There isn’t much variation between the two spellings, and we wanted to highlight this. We’ll include both spellings to show you that they’re correct, but try to remember that “clearer” is the more popular choice!

  • You need to speak clearer, so people have an easier time understanding you.
  • You need to write this clearer; otherwise, they’ll never be able to read it.
  • That was a lot clearer than you first told me it would be.
  • I needed him to be more clear because I couldn’t work out what he wanted us to do.
  • If she were more clear, we wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.
  • If only I’d been more clear, then I could have told her exactly what I wanted.
  • Next time I write out the answer, I’ll be clearer with the solution.
  • This author writes in a much clearer way than this other author.
  • Why do you have to speak so much clearer than me? You’re just good at everything!

When we use clearer, we’re making sure to write the comparative form of clear. It’s where we take two things in the sentence and compare them to each other to see which one is clearer than the other.

Usually, both objects or things are made apparent in a sentence. However, sometimes the context tells us what the comparison is rather than outright saying it.

For example, “speak clearer” doesn’t use another object to compare to. Instead, we mean “speaker clearer than you currently are,” implying that they’re mumbling or not explaining something well.

As we’ve said, though, “more clear” is just as correct as “clearer.” There’s no difference between the two, and when used in a sentence in the ways we’ve shown above, they mean the same thing. Most of the differences in popularity come from personal choice, though it’s widely accepted now that “clearer” is the correct variation and should be used.

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Identify That Both “Clearer” And “More Clear” Are Grammatically Correct

Now let’s look at how to figure out which way we want to write out clearer or more clear. We’ve thrown together a step-by-step guide to help you. We’ll also include one that features when we might be more inclined to use “more” before the word.

  1. Start with the base adjective.
  2. Clear.
  3. Check how many syllables are in it. (1)
  4. If there is only one syllable, add an “-er” to the end.
  5. Clearer.
  6. If that word makes sense, then you’ve found the comparative form.

Now let’s look at an example where the “-er” extension isn’t always applicable.

  1. Start with the base adjective.
  2. Difficult.
  3. Check how many syllables are in it. (3)
  4. If there is only one syllable, add an “-er” to the end.
  5. If there is more than one syllable, include “more” before the word.
  6. More difficult.
  7. Check to make sure that works in the sentence and you’ve found your comparative form.

There’s one final example we want to show you that doesn’t seem to follow the rules as obvious as we’ve described above.

  1. Start with the base adjective.
  2. Happy
  3. Check how many syllables are in it. (2)
  4. If there is only one syllable, add an “-er” to the end.
  5. If there is more than one syllable, include “more” before the word.
  6. More happy.
  7. Check to make sure that it works.
  8. If it doesn’t work, check what letter the word ends with.
  9. Happy.
  10. If it ends with a “Y,” remove it and replace the suffix with “-ier.”
  11. Happier
  12. Now you have found the comparative form.

Those are the three ways you can turn an adjective into a comparative form. Generally, we can include “more” before any one-syllable words to the same effect. However, we can’t use “-er” at the end of larger words.

  • Difficulter

This is not a correct word, so the rule is absolute when using words longer than two syllables.

How About “Clearest” Vs. “Most Clear?

There’s another form of adjective known as a superlative form. This is where we are no longer comparing, but we’re stating that this is the best possible thing in that regard, and nothing can beat it.

The same rules to create superlative adjectives apply as when we use comparative adjectives.

If the word is one syllable, like “clear,” then we include the suffix “-est” at the end of it. “Clearest” is the correct spelling. However, we can also include “most” in front of it instead to make “most clear” if we’d rather.