'Cleverer' or 'More Clever': Which is Correct Usage?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 4, 2022

Are you supposed to say ‘cleverer’ or ‘more clever’? It might be confusing if you’ve never encountered this before. But we’ll cover that and teach you how to use the correct phrase in a sentence.

Don’t feel like reading around for the answer? Here’s the quick answer: they’re both correct.

'Cleverer' or 'More Clever': Which is Correct?

As you just learned, both ‘cleverer’ and ‘more clever’ are acceptable to use. You might be wondering if there’s another way to say it.

‘Cleverer’ ‘More Clever’ or Some Other Variation

So, now you know you can say ‘cleverer’ or ‘more clever’ in any circumstance. Let’s talk about the superlative of ‘clever.’

Superlative of ‘Clever’

A superlative adjective is a word used to describe a noun when comparing it to two or more nouns to the highest or lowest degree.

For example, the superlative of big would be biggest. Here’s an example:

  • Big > Bigger > Biggest

In this example, ‘biggest’ is superlative.

Now, let’s take a look at the superlative for ‘clever.’

  • Clever > Cleverer/More Clever > Cleverest/Most Clever.

As evidenced above, the superlative of ‘clever’ is ‘cleverest’ or ‘most clever.’

Clever Definition and Meaning 

The Merriam-Webster definition of clever is “skillful or adroit in using the hands or body: nimble,” “mentally quick and resourceful,” “marked by wit or ingenuity,” and “dialect.”

The Cambridge definition of the word is “having or showing the ability to learn and understand things quickly and easily.”

Some synonyms include:

  • Intelligent
  • Clever
  • Cunning
  • Sharp
  • Smart
  • Bright
  • Artful
  • Creative
  • Imaginative
  • Ingenious
  • Innovative
  • Inventive

Some antonyms include:

  • Uncreative
  • Unimaginative

How to Use Them in a Sentence Correctly 

Now that we’ve defined the word ‘clever’ and you know a few synonyms, let’s see how to use it correctly in a sentence.

Take a look at a few examples of how to use ‘cleverer’ in a sentence:

  • She was just a bit cleverer and ended up outsmarting me!
  • I never thought my little brother would be cleverer than me in this game.
  • I wasn’t the funniest, but I was definitely cleverer than Brad.

Now, let’s see a few examples of how to use ‘more clever’ in a sentence:

  • Maya is more clever than me; she figured out all the clues first.
  • I don’t know who’s more clever when it comes to avoiding getting in trouble – my toddler or my puppy.
  • We have to be more clever if we’re going to make it out of here alive!

As you can see, it doesn’t really matter which version of the term you use because they mean the exact same thing.

Final Thoughts on ‘Cleverer’ and ‘More Clever’

Now that you know that it’s okay to use ‘cleverer’ and ‘more clever,’ you don’t have to agonize over which one sounds correct.

Like terms such as relate to/relate with, associated to/associated with, and in the summer/in summer, there’s no right or wrong answer. It all depends on how you use the word or phrase.

Whether you’re struggling with the spelling of tires/tyres or you’re not sure how to use ‘in which/of which/at which,’ our library of articles on confusing words can help set you straight. Bookmark the page and come back whenever you get stuck on something if you need to.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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