Can we say “less tall” in English?

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Today’s student question is, “Can we say ‘less tall’ for the opposite of taller?”

The answer is no, we don’t use “less” with one-syllable adjectives. We would only use “less” with the same adjectives that use “more” in comparisons – more/less expensive, more/less interesting, more/less comfortable.

With “tall” we could say “not as tall as” – I’m not as tall as my brother. Or simply use the opposite comparative adjective – “shorter” – I’m shorter than my brother.

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