Is stupider a word?
It turns out stupider is an actual word. Stupider and more stupid are both comparative forms of the adjective
. They can be used interchangeably. In the English language, stupid is one of just a few adjectives that have two grammatically-correct options for their comparative form. (In case you were wondering, the superlative forms of stupid are stupidest and most stupid).
When do you use stupider?
The word stupid is an adjective that refers to someone or something that’s foolish or senseless. If you want to compare two things that are stupid, use the comparative (stupider/more stupid) form of stupid to describe which has a greater level of stupidity.
For example, you could say “Thing A is stupid, but thing B is stupider.” This would express that you find thing B to have a greater level of stupidness than thing A. If you said “Thing B is more stupid than thing A,” it would mean the same thing as the first sentence. Both sentences show the comparative relationship between things A and B.
What are comparative and superlative adjectives?
When you want to compare two nouns, you can use a comparative adjective. For example, in the sentence “Sam is bigger than Sally,” the adjective bigger is comparative. It tells you that Sam is larger in size than Sally.
If you’re comparing more than two things, you can use a superlative adjective. Consider this sentence: “Sam is bigger than Sally, but John is the biggest.” In this case, John is larger in size than both Sally and Sam. This shows a progression in size among the three people, with Sally as the smallest, Sam in the middle, and John as the largest.
In most cases, comparative and superlative adjectives follow a simple pattern. You add the suffix er to the original adjective when you want to form the comparative. Add the suffix est to form the superlative. This rule is true of almost all one-syllable adjectives. For example, clean would become cleaner and cleanest.
When do you use more?
Some two-syllable adjectives (in particular, adjectives ending with y, er, le, and ow) follow the er rule above. This includes dirty (which becomes dirtier and dirtiest), little (littler and littlest), and narrow (narrower and narrowest).
In most other cases, adjectives with two syllables use the words more and most to create their comparative and superlative forms. For example, important and public are both adjectives with multiple syllables. Their comparative forms are more important and more public. Their superlative forms are most important and most public.
Stupider, more stupid, and other exceptions to the rules
Stupid is a two-syllable adjective. Based on the rule above, it should use the words more and most to form its comparative and superlative forms, and it does. However, it also breaks this rule by using er and est as alternative forms.
A few other adjectives use er and est as well as more and most, such as clever, likely, and pleasant. This means both of these sentences are grammatically correct: “Betty is more likely to win the election than Bobby” and “Betty is likelier to win than Bobby.”