"that" (The winter of New York is much severer than that of Tokyo.)

Is this OK?

The winter of New York is much severer than [color=red]that of Tokyo.


Is it “much severer” or “more severe”?

I actually thinking that I don’t need to use that because my first sentence was; The winter in New York is much severe than Tokyo. But when I review it I’m just thinking that how about if I put that, and I am right. I’m happy learning from you, sir.

Hi Molly,

Thanks for your note. I actually don’t know the rule on when to use much and more. As far as I understand, I need to use much when it is uncountable nouns like much money, much traffic, much water etc. And I use more on, more beautiful and etc.

I also don’t know. Let’s see if Mr M answers.

You can say either ‘severer’ or you can say ‘more severe’. Both are acceptable as the comparative form of the adjective ‘severe’.

You can add the word ‘much’ to a comparative form in order to indicate a large difference. So you can also say ‘much severer’ or you can say ‘much more severe’.

The word ‘severe’ (alone) is not a comparative form and therefore ‘much severe’ does not work in your sentence.

The American Corpus shows.

more severe 889 per million words
severer 7 per million words

Which would you advise a student to use?

I suppose both are fine.

However, due to the difficulty of pronouncing “severer” (hehe), many Americans might prefer “more severe”.


President Bush would bring the laughs if he tried to say “severer”.