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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > agiler or more agile?    

agiler or more agile?



Chilvis
Argentina

agiler or more agile?
 
Hi, I �ve downloaded a worksheet on compratives and superlatives and it contains the adjective agile but I �m in doubt as regards its comparative and superlative form.
Is it considered a short adjective or a long one? shall we add the suffix or use more and most???
I �ve checked on dictionaries of course, but I couldn �t find it.
Do you know the answer? Where can I find it?
Thaaanks Wink

25 Nov 2010      





mish.cz
Czech Republic

Hello, Chilvis,�

I �d personally prefer "more agile" but I guess you can use both, just google it up or use the english language corpus and you �ll see.

Greetings, Mish

25 Nov 2010     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Dear Chilvis,
 
Neither the "Oxford Dictionary of English" nor "The Chambers Dictionary" describe the adjective  �agile � as being irregular when forming the comparative and the superlative.
Consequently, here in the United Kingdom, we use "more agile" and "most agile".
 
I am sure that you know that the noun is "agility", ( �nimbleness; swiftness and suppleness �), and that the adverb is "agilely", but it is possible that other Members do not know, so I include it here.
 
I hope that this helps you.
 
All the Best.
 
Les

25 Nov 2010     



ueslteacher
Ukraine

You are so good at explaining things, Les. Would you please point out to us how is "agile" different from "noble" (both ending in "le")? more sylables?
Sophia 

25 Nov 2010     



yanogator
United States

In case Les doesn �t get to it, I �ll tell you that two-syllable adjectives ending in "ble" (noble and able are the only two I can think of) can form the comparative and superlative either way. Of course, "double" doesn �t have a comparative or superlative, so it �s not included in this. The reason is that "agiler" would be three syllables, while "nobler" and "abler" have only two. This works for other words that would retain two syllables, such as "supple", but "more supple" is much more common than "suppler", although both are correct.
 
I hope I �ve helped you some,
Bruce

25 Nov 2010     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Dear Sophia,
 
Thank you for your opening compliment!  (I made a similar kind remark elsewhere, in an attempt to help someone, and I was accused of sarcasm).
 
In answer to your question, which asks: "Why is it �noble �; �nobler �; �noblest �, but not �agile �, �agiler �; �agilest �?"  (I believe that some other speakers say: �agile �, �agiler �; �agilest �, but I have never heard it).
 
The answer to your question is: "I don �t know".  There are 2 syllables in �no-ble � and 2 syllables in �ag-ile �.
 
I have indicated, in another place, that there are irregularities in the English language:
 

1.       narrow

narrower

narrowest

 

2.       clever

cleverer

cleverest

 

3.       simple

simpler

simplest

 

4.       quiet

quieter

quietest

 

Some two syllable adjectives + -er and -est

 
and also:
 

1.       pretty

prettier

prettiest

 

2.       ugly

uglier

ugliest

 

3.       happy

happier

happiest

 

4.       easy

easier

easiest

 

Two syllable adjectives ending in y = y + -ier and -iest

 
and also:
 

Adjectives with IRREGULAR comparatives and superlatives

1.       good

better

best

 

2.       bad

worse

worst

 

3.       far

farther

farthest

 

4.       or far

further

furthest

 

5.       old

older

oldest

 

6.       or old

elder

eldest

 

7.       few

fewer

fewest

 

8.       or few

less

least

 

9.       much

more

most

 

10.     many

more

most

 

11.     little
(not many)

less

least

 

 
Why these occur, I don �t know.
But in many cases, the changes occurred because the speakers found it easier (more easy) to use one particular form, rather than another.
 
To give one simple example.
Say, in English, out loud: "A apple".  Make sure that you leave a small space between the 2 words!
Now say: "An apple".
Most people find it easier to say the second, because one word runs into the next ... "Anapple"
I believe that it is for this reason that  words which begin with the vowel sounds A, E, I, O, U, are preceded by �an � and NOT  �a �
 
Similarly, over the years,  English has accommodated many linguistic changes, (principally due to the influences of different languages).
Moreover, there were those in authority, who wished to control how the English language was written and spoken, because then, they were the Powerful People.  They were "The Intelligent" because they could speak "correct English".  The rest of us were "The Ignorant" because we spoke in dialect.
Fortunately, times have changed.
 
Remember - Knowledge is Power!
 
I haven �t successfully answered your question, but I hope that I have helped you to understand.
 
Les

25 Nov 2010     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Thank you, Bruce.
 
Les

25 Nov 2010     



ueslteacher
Ukraine

Thanks, Les. You got my question rightSmile And you got me right I wasn �t being sarcasticSmile
I do know all those cases with 2 sylables. I just thought as a native speaker you had some kind of an insight, a secret knowledge so to speak. 
Thanks for the explanation anyway.

2 Bruce: thanks, too.

They say Russian is "the great and powerful language", but isn �t English amasing and full of rules with lots of exceptionsWink
Sophia

25 Nov 2010     



magneto
Greece

Needless to say, Bruce and Les, I �ve copy-pasted your explanations in a Word document for future reference in class.
Thank you for sharing your wisdomSmile
Hats off to you both, gentlemen!

25 Nov 2010     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Dear Chilvis, Sophia, and Magneto,

 

Here is a list of adjectives which I have made, ending in �le�, which can take �er� and �est�; and can also take �more� and �most�, in the Comparative and Superlative.

 

�Thank you� to Bruce!

 

able brittle feeble fickle gentle hale humble idle little nimble noble pale purple simple single stale staple subtle supple vile whole

 

I am sure that someone will find others.

All the best!

Les

25 Nov 2010     



magneto
Greece

,  Les!

25 Nov 2010     

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