More vs. Better

Here’s the dilemma of the day:
I like him better.
I like him more.
Which is correct?

Better refers to quality, whereas more refers to quantity.
I like him better now than I used to. (quality)
I like him more than he likes me. (quantity)

It’s the same situation with Best vs. Most.
“I like him best” refers to the quality of my affections: I like him best when he is smiling.
“I like him most” refers to the quantity of my affections: Of all my cousins, I like him most.

Now here’s a sentence that could go two different ways:
I like him more than Don.
Which of the following is meant?
I like him more than I like Don.
I like him more than Don likes him.
To remove any doubt, pick one of those two longer sentences and use that instead.

Here’s another tough dilemma:
I like him better/more than she.
I like him better/more than her.

Which is correct? Well, that depends on what you really mean. Again, use a longer sentence to clear up the fog.
I like him better than she does. The quality of my liking is higher than hers.
I like him more than I like her. The quantity of my liking him is greater.

How shall we remember this?
Good  Better  Best  (adjectives, quality)
Some  More  Most (adverbs, quantity)

(For a quick refresher on Good vs. Well, visit:
https://oilpatchwriting.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/good-vs-well/)

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Profound Quote of the Day:
“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.”
– Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker, b. 1926
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One Response to “More vs. Better”

  1. Erik Says:

    This is incorrect.

    Better is an adverb. Therefore, it describes the verb in the sentence, in this case, “like.”

    When you say, “I like A better than B,” the word “better” is describing the verb “like.” In other words, you are more skilled at liking A. That’s not what anyone means when they say this sentence.

    However, if you said, “I like this more than that,” you mean that you like A to a greater degree than B.

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