Hello,
Could you please tell me which of the following are correct and which not?
Slower,( used as an adverb), slowlier, more slowly

and why? Thanks
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Hello, Could you please tell me which of the following are correct and which not? Slower,( used as an adverb), slowlier, more slowly and why? Thanks

Slower is correct. Most monosyllable adjectives take "er" in the comparative form. Holy, holier. Full, fuller. Red, redder etc.

Slowlier is an attempt to add an adjectival suffix to an adverb (slowly). There is no such word as slowlier. Just as there is no such word as reallier.
More slowly is an alternative comparative form, meaning the same as slower. Any adjective can be made into a comparative in this way. Most multisyllable adjectives have this as their only comparative form. Elusive, more elusive. Advantageous, more advantageous.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
Slowlier is an attempt to add an adjectival suffix to an adverb (slowly). There is no such word as slowlier. Just as there is no such word as reallier.

You gave a good answer on all the choices.
"Slowlier" is not a preferred form, so a learner of English probably wants to avoid it, as many of us normally would. However, i must object to the suggestion that there is "no such word." Any form in use is a word, even if it is disapproved or thought awkward by many.

I prefer "slower," but i hear or read "slowlier' from time to time. In fact, Google shows 10,400 hits. (I'm on a Google kick. It's such a great dictionary !)
ER Lyon
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Slowlier is an attempt to add an adjectival suffix to ... slowlier. Just as there is no such word as reallier.

You gave a good answer on all the choices. "Slowlier" is not a preferred form, so a learner of English ... time. In fact, Google shows 10,400 hits. (I'm on a Google kick. It's such a great dictionary !) ER Lyon

Clearly it gives you access to non-standard forms I have never heard of. I am surprised.
I accept your correction. I would add that it is not in common use, Google notwithstanding, and that it is clearly non-standard.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
"Slowlier" is not a preferred form, so a learner of English probably wants to avoid it, as many of us ... many. I prefer "slower," but i hear or read "slowlier' from time to time. In fact, Google shows 10,400 hits.

We still need a way of discriminating between correct English counted by Google hits and English errors similarly counted.

Reference to the rules of grammar helps clarify this topic.
1. The comparative form of regular adjectives is madeby adding -ER to the word (and the superative form by adding -EST.) But this rule can be safely applied only to monosyllables.
1b. Rule 1 also applies to adverbs (or adjectives that are used like adverbs) e.g. FAST, FASTER, FASTEST.
2. Many adjectives with two syllables e.g. BURLY e.g.ORANGE do not follow rule 1. Their comparative forms must be made by the word MORE as MORE ORANGE,
MORE BURLY etc. No one allows ORANGER;
BURLIER may be allowed (but users disagree, some
preferring MORE BURLY.)

3. Adverbs usually end in -LY i.e. have two or moresyllables, thus follow Rule 2 rather than Rule 1.
SLOWLIER is the application of Rule 1 to SLOWLY,
contrary to Rule 3 and is an error. This general type is common, following (Rule 4?) the guideline that, when in doubt, we should treat words as regular
rather than irregular. This is probably what prompts young children to use GOOD, GOODER, GOODEST
i.e. treating adjective GOOD as regular and applying Rule 1. Only later in life do they except that adjective GOOD is irregular and requires the forms GOOD,
BETTER, BEST.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Reference to the rules of grammar helps clarify this topic. 1. The comparative form of regular adjectives is made by ... 3. Adverbs usually end in -LY i.e. have two or more syllables, thus follow Rule 2 rather than Rule 1.

What about "stupider"? I thought that was correct.

Maurizio
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Slowlier is an attempt to add an adjectival suffix to ... slowlier. Just as there is no such word as reallier.

You gave a good answer on all the choices. "Slowlier" is not a preferred form, so a learner of English ... "no such word." Any form in use is a word, even if it is disapproved or thought awkward by many.

"Many" of us? Anyone who is "learning English" (and as a native speaker of 50-odd years, some odder than others, I count myself in that group) should avoid the use of made-up words that have no common acceptance or understanding among experienced English speakers (both native and non-native). Anyone who feels a need to break new ground, coin new words, or pretend to be some kind of avant garde poet should use such words freely and freelier.
"Slowlier" is not a preferred form, ... However, i must ... or thought awkward by many. ... Google shows 10,400 hits..

I accept your correction. I would add that it is not in common use, Google notwithstanding, and that it is clearly non-standard.

Yes, it is a minority usage, but is used coherently by educated speakers to mean "more slowly." I found many of these usages on Google were formal scientific writing, as:
"The energy flux above the plate propagates with the velocity of the (short) gravity wave determined by the reduced water-depth above the plate, the one below the plate travels slowlier, with the speed of a pressure distortion."
I see that several other people have responded, so i'm bound to write more about this.
ER Lyon
... i hear or read "slowlier' from time to time. In fact, Google shows 10,400 hits.

We still need a way of discriminating between correct English counted by Google hits and English errors similarly counted.

Saving the issue of "correctness" for later, i agree with your point. I found this fascinating enough to look at about a hundred Google citations for "slowlier" (as they appeared in order).

a) I found that in fully 2/3 of the samples, "slowlier" was clearly used to mean "more slowly." ("An uncompensated balance wheel oscillates slowlier at high temperatures than at low ones...")

b) Nearly 1/4 were used to mean "slower" in contexts where "more slowly" would not be substituted, as in, "... the second ones can be a little bit slowlier in execution..."
c) The rest were other forms (often ambiguous) - or else part of grammar quizes. .
I find a) to be defensible, while i am not inspired to offer support for the others.
Reference to the rules of grammar helps clarify this topic.

Both the "rules of grammar" and "standard usage" are so inconsistent that they aren't dependable criteria for arguing unacceptability. Off hand, i think of the word "friendlier" as being broadly accepted. "You are acting friendlier today."
Although "slowlier" is used by a minority, i have found it most often used coherently (particularly for "more slowly") in speech that is otherwise standard. As such, i see no reason to condemn it, whether we prefer it or not.
ER Lyon
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