Simpler or More Simple: Which is Correct?

Simpler or More Simple

English can be tricky, especially when we compare things. Take the words “simpler” and “more simple” – they both mean the same, but which one should we use? In this article, we’ll look at these words closely. We’ll see where they come from, how we use them, and when to choose one over the other. Whether you’re learning English or just curious, this will help you understand better. We’ll use easy examples and expert tips to make it clear. So, let’s start exploring these interesting words in English.

What Are Comparative Adjectives?

First, let’s talk about “comparative adjectives.” These are words we use when we compare two things. For example, if we have two apples, and one is bigger than the other, we say “This apple is bigger than that one.” We made “big” into “bigger” to compare. We do this a lot in English with different words.

Simpler vs. More Simple

Now, let’s look at our main words: “simpler” and “more simple.” Both of these are comparative forms of the word “simple.” But which one is correct?


“Simpler” is the most common way to make “simple” into a comparative.

  • Grammatical Rule: Generally, the rule of thumb in English is to add “-er” to one-syllable adjectives to form their comparative degree. Since “simple” is a two-syllable word but ends in a vowel sound followed by a consonant, it can comfortably take the “-er” suffix, forming “simpler.”
  • Usage: “Simpler” is often used in both spoken and written English. It is preferred for its conciseness and is commonly found in technical or academic contexts where brevity is valued.
  • Example: “The simpler solution is often the best one.”

More Simple

What about “more simple”? It’s not wrong, but it’s less common.

  • Grammatical Rule: For adjectives with two or more syllables, it’s usual to precede them with “more” to form the comparative. Though “simple” can take the “-er” suffix, using “more simple” is not grammatically incorrect. It’s a more formal construction and is sometimes chosen for emphasis or rhythm.
  • Usage: “More simple” might be less common but is used for stylistic reasons or for emphasis. It’s often found in literary or formal contexts.
  • Example: “This approach is more simple than you might expect.”

Remember the Context

Another thing to remember is the context. Sometimes, the way a sentence is built or the rhythm of the words can make one choice sound better than the other. It’s always good to read your sentence out loud or in your mind to see which sounds better.


Both “simpler” and “more simple” are correct, but their usage depends largely on the context, the intended tone, and sometimes personal or regional preference. Understanding these subtleties can enhance both the clarity and expressiveness of communication in English.


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