On television a few moments ago was a sentence that I thought interesting enough to bring to the group.
"This will enable us to see ourselves closer and know ourselves better."

Funny, I thought. "Closer" and "better" are adjectives. But what the sentence needs are adverbs. So, on the face of it, "closer" is wrong. What they should've said was "more closely."
But "better" not only sounds correct, I can't even imagine what to replace it with, if it's wrong.
What say you?
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On television a few moments ago was a sentence that I thought interesting enough to bring to the group. "This ... "better" not only sounds correct, I can't even imagine what to replace it with, if it's wrong. What say you?~

'See ourselves closer' seems poor English to me - 'know ourselves more intimately' would be better, IMHO, and would obviate the latter phrase.
I suspect that 'closer' and 'more closely' are both correct, though.

Nick from England
On television a few moments ago was a sentence that I thought interesting enough to bring to the group. "This ... "more closely." But "better" not only sounds correct, I can't even imagine what to replace it with, if it's wrong.

"Better" is a perfectly good adverb, the comparative of "well", so no problem there. (It's an adjective as well, of course, but that doesn't affect the question.)
I share your doubts about "closer". I don't think I'd use it as an adverb myself, but I wouldn't fall off my chair in surprise and horror if I heard it so used.

athel
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On television a few moments ago was a sentence that I thought interesting enough to bring to the group. "This ... "better" not only sounds correct, I can't even imagine what to replace it with, if it's wrong. What say you?

I am unable to find any authority expressly acknowledging "closer" as an adverb, and it sounds at least ungainly, if not outright ugly, in that use.
The difficulty, of course, is the break in parallelism; probably the best choice would have been to also use the analytic form of comparison on the second adverb, something like "This will enable us to see ourselves more closely and know ourselves more satisfactorily" (or "more fully" or the like). Or strike the prolixity and just say "This will enable us to better know ourselves," or something of that sort.

Cordially,
Eric Walker, Owlcroft House
http://owlcroft.com/english /
On television a few moments ago was a sentence that ... to replace it with, if it's wrong. What say you?

I am unable to find any authority expressly acknowledging "closer" as an adverb, and it sounds at least ungainly, if not outright ugly, in that use.

Perhaps you do not consider Merriam-Webster an authority. Or the Cambridge Advanced Learner's. Or the COD. All are online, and all report "close" as an adverb. Okay, they don't separately report its comparative "closer," but why bother? Here's one example of "closer" as adverb: "I want you to sit closer to me." Of course, "close" works just as well.
Ah, you may say, but is it proper to use "close" as an adverb with "see"? Why not? "With my new teleseope, I can see the moon closer than ever."
No wonder I had trouble understanding why anyone would question the original sentence.

Bob Lieblich
Looking closer than ever
I am unable to find any authority expressly acknowledging "closer" ... at least ungainly, if not outright ugly, in that use.

Perhaps you do not consider Merriam-Webster an authority. Or the Cambridge Advanced Learner's. Or the COD. All are online, and ... example of "closer" as adverb: "I want you to sit closer to me." Of course, "close" works just as well.

Oh, I agree that "close" itself is commonly an adverb. It was the exact form "closer" as an adverb for which I could not find an express mention.

I also disagree about the status of "closer" there: the closeness is the end product of the sitting, not a description of how the sitting is done. Mind, this gets into the whole issue of whether certain adjectival words are also adverbs (despite the existence of a separate adverbial form) or whether the verbs in question are being sensed as copulative; I believe that the latter is more commonly the case than is generally perceived.

One can stand quickly a description of the actual standing process the verb describes or one can stand proud. Because we are, in my opinion, in a transition time as to copulative verbs, one can also still say without actual error "He stood proudly", even though logically it is hard to decide how one moves from sitting to standing in a proud manner, as opposed to how one can be proud (adjective) while standing.

But that's probably more of a sidebar in the instant matter.
Ah, you may say, but is it proper to use "close" as an adverb with "see"? Why not? "With my new telescope, I can see the moon closer than ever."

Actually, you can't: you can see it seeming closer than ever. You can't see it closer unless you travel into space (or at least climb a mountain). And even then, you aren't seeing it closer, you're only seeing it from closer up (whatever that form might be). The Moon may, in your new telescope, seem closer where "closer" is an adjective describing the Moon (and "seem" is definitely copulative, most verbs of "seeming" being so, as in "it looms large") but you can't really see it closer.

Cordially,
Eric Walker, Owlcroft House
http://owlcroft.com/english /
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Ah, you may say, but is it proper to use ... new telescope, I can see the moon closer than ever."

Actually, you can't: you can see it seeming closer than ever. You can't see it closer unless you travel into ... is definitely copulative, most verbs of "seeming" being so, as in "it looms large") but you can't really see it closer.

Good point. Please allow me to change the example sentence to "The Apollo 11 astronauts saw the moon closer than anyone before them."

Bob Lieblich
And weave
Actually, you can't: you can see it seeming closer than ... in "it looms large") but you can't really see it closer.

Good point. Please allow me to change the example sentence to "The Apollo 11 astronauts saw the moon closer than anyone before them."

To simplify, the essence can equivalently be rendered as "They saw the moon closer." If I am not grossly in error, "closer" is there still an adjective modifying "Moon", describing its status with respect to the astronauts. Compare "The moon was closer."
As I have said many times over the years, it is my opinion that English is undergoing a significant if subtle change leading to ever greater numbers of verbs being perceived as copulative. I of course do not mean by that that the average English user thinks in such terms when casting sentences: only that what constitutes easy and natural use is trending toward the usage. Verbs of "seeming" have long been treated by the tongue as copulative, but even some verbs of a less passive nature have long been so seen (as in "he fell heir to a fortune", "the well ran dry").
The logical crux is whether the modifier is perceived as modulating the nature of an action or as modulating the nature of a condition or state. Whether the heroic aviator landed the damaged plane single-handedly or single-handed depends on whether we see the modifier (meaning "alone", "without other hands to help") as describing the nature of the piloting or the status of the pilot; my assertion is that there is an ever- increasing trend, in like cases, to see the modifier as modulating the status.

Cordially,
Eric Walker, Owlcroft House, still bobbing
http://owlcroft.com/english /
To simplify, the essence can equivalently be rendered as "They saw the moon closer." If I am not grossly in error, "closer" is there still an adjective modifying "Moon", describing its status with respect to the astronauts. Compare "The moon was closer."

Surely "closer" modifies "saw" and "was", so it is an adverb?
Ian
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