I'm a certified English teacher that provided to teach sophoeven more English prior to becoming a permanent mommy.

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Worse or Worst? Find Out When to Use Each Word Correctly

Sometimes, English can be hard. One of the the majority of widespread word usage mistakes is confutilizing "worse" with "worst." When speaking, your audience might not hear the mistake, but in creating, you will certainly desire to get it ideal.

"Worse" and "worst" sound similar, but when you understand that "worse" is offered when comparing two items and "worst" announces the winner in the competition of who's the most negative, it becomes a lot easier to use the appropriate word.

As a certified English teacher—I taught sophoeven more English prior to coming to be a full-time mom—I'd see this mistake all the time. Here is just how I explained it to my students in easy-to-remember terms so that they'd never confusage the two aobtain.

Worse vs. Worst: Which Is Which?

What does worse mean?

"Worse" is a comparative word, just like "much better." It implies that, when comparing two points, one is considered to be "worse" (and also not "worst") than the other. Worse suggests of a reduced top quality or standard.

Margaret's cooking is worse than Joe's.Wooden roller coasters are a lot worse than steel ones.Cheer is worse than Tide for acquiring stains out.Artificial sweeteners are worse for your health than sugar.I feel also worse now than I did yesterday.

What does worst mean?

While "worse" compares two items, "worst" is a superlative. Think of "worst" favor "best," just in the negative. When something is a lot more damaging than other points, it is the "worst" of them all. Worst means of the lowest quality or standard.

Here are examples of "worst" provided appropriately in a sentence:

That was the worst movie ever!I have the worst memory when it involves names.The hottest component of the day is the worst time to execute yard work in the summer months.Skunks are the worst-smelling animals.Yuck! That's the worst restaurant in tvery own.

Neat trick: See just how in each of these examples, "worst" is predelivered by "the"? So in a sentence, if you use the write-up "the" simply prior to, remember that "worst" will certainly generally follow.


When to Use "Worse" In a Sentence

Use "worse" as soon as you're making a comparichild between 2 things: "Rotten fish smells even worse than rotten eggs."

Use "worse" wherever you would usage a word that ends via "er" as a comparison: "The Harry Potter movies are worse than the books."

Use "worse" via "than". Due to the fact that "worse" is comparative, it is regularly used through the word "than" in comparisons: "The brand-new Teen Titans is a lot worse than the original." (You'd never before say "worst than.")

Watch out for implied (unspoken) comparisons. Sometimes, the comparichild is implied, so you won't view 2 things being compared in the sentence: "Hamburgers and also sliders are basically the same, however I think sliders are worse ."

Use "worse" to define somepoint that is degrading (worsening): "My headache keeps obtaining worse."

Use "worse" to explain somepoint that is degrading, even when the comparison is implicit (unspoken): "The economy is obtaining much worse ."

Taking that test was worse than getting punched in the eye... however flunking is the worst!

When to Use "Worst" In a Sentence

Use "worst" to say that one point is inferior to numerous various other things: "I did eincredibly machine at the gym, yet the squat rack was the worst."

Use "worst" after "the" to show which is the the majority of poor thing: "Fat-totally free, sugar-totally free cookies taste the worst."

Whenever before you would certainly use a word finishing in "est": "My vacation was the worst pilgrimage ever!

Test Your Understanding With a Rapid Quiz

For each question, choose the finest answer. The answer vital is below.

Anna and Gwen are both messy, but I think Anna is the worse.This is correct.Take the "the" out (Anna is worse) OR adjust it to "worst" (Anna is the worst).My mood is gaining worse.This is correct.No: "My mood is obtaining worst" is correct.Skim milk is worst than totality milk.That is correct.No: Skim milk is worse than whole milk.My cat sheds, but it is worse in the winter months.That is correct!No: My cat sheds, but it is worst in the winter months.Worse is yet to come if it doesn't stop raining.That is correct.No: Worst is yet to come if it doesn't sheight raining.Things took a revolve for the worse.That is correct!No: Things took a turn for the worst.That is the worse excusage I've ever heard.That is correct!No: That is the worst excusage I've ever before heard.

Answer Key

Take the "the" out (Anna is worse) OR adjust it to "worst" (Anna is the worst).This is correct.No: Skim milk is worse than totality milk.That is correct!That is correct.That is correct!No: That is the worst excuse I've ever heard.


Is it "worst for worst" or "worse for worse"?! Because it's a comparichild, you'd usage "worse."

Typical Idioms That Include Worse or Worst

One of the a lot of confmaking use of elements of English are the many idioms and also colloquial phrases. Below are prevalent idioms and also phrases that usage the words worse or worst.

"When worse involves worst."

This expression simply suggests that a negative situation (one that was sindicate worse off than another) has now end up being the most devastating that it could perhaps be (it is now the worst). A modern-day take on this idiom is the expression "from poor to worse."

"Worst case."

This phrase is often misspoken via the word "worse," yet the correct means to say it is with "worst." The intention is you are planning for the worst feasible outcome. You regularly hear the expression "worst-instance scenario" describing the the majority of negative possible outcome that might occur in a given situation.

"None the worse for wear."

This suggests that the obstacle or additional initiative didn't leave an individual or item any kind of worse off. Although an object was used, it was not destroyed.

"Their bark is worse than their bite."

This idiom ssuggest compares a person's habits (their "bark") through their intention (their bite). It implies that they might comsimple loudly, yet when it comes best dvery own to it, the noise they make is more painful than anypoint else that can take place.

"A fate worse than death."

This idiom compares a situation through death and also asserts that what has actually befallen is even worse than dying. Because you're comparing two items, you use "worse."

"Take a turn for the worse."

This is possibly the expression that is most frequently misspoken. The case has actually gotten worse than it was originally, therefore, you usage "worse" and also not "worst."

Bad —> Worse —> Worst!

© 2011 Wendy Leanne

What do you think? How perform you remember to usage these words correctly?

David on January 24, 2019:

oops, essential typo:

I assumed the saying was "as soon as worst concerns worse"

To reiterate: the instance was thmust already be the worst yet then it ended up being worse.

Ngram finds no results for this yet I assumed I'd share my mistake and also reasoning.


Madan kumar, Chennai, India. on September 19, 2018:

Your explanation is great. I construed the distinction between two. If you put some exercise on worse and worst suggests it will be incredibly help to practice..

GalaxyRat on June 11, 2017:

Worst and worse sound and also look starray as soon as you think around it. :D

Andrea on December 22, 2015:

Googled Worse vs. Worst after I recorded the typo in a publimelted book and almost put the book dvery own. After looking a dozen short articles, THIS one clarified it so extremely well.

Antoinette Lee Toscano from Raleigh, NC on October 28, 2015:

This was so useful say thanks to you. I'm a new fan.

Lynn Klobuchar on March 29, 2014:

Thank you! It helps to hear someone else define it.

norma-holt on February 16, 2014:

Great leans. I essential to check on the distinction in between these words for something I am composing and also came throughout this lens. Good work.

anonymous on August 26, 2013:

Thanks for answering my Worse vs. Worst questions! That dang English language gets you eincredibly currently and also again!

anonymous on July 07, 2013:

Totally awesome... Thank you!

geosum on April 05, 2013:

Good one.

WordChipper on February 26, 2013:

Shoot... 2/3 guess I better practise my english gooder prior to it gets worst. LOL

suepogson on February 17, 2013:

Very clear - thanks

Wedding Mom on February 07, 2013:

anonymous: No. It would certainly constantly be worded worst case scenario, worse situation scenario would always be awkward. If you were to compare 2 scenarios it would certainly be worded "winning $100 would certainly be worse than winning $200." Or you might say scenario A is worse than scenario B. When worse is offered it need to be once comparing one point or case to one more.

anonymous on February 06, 2013:



anonymous on January 21, 2013:

My mother would have actually been the worse prepare if tright here were just 2 cooks

Digory LM on December 27, 2012:

The tension from these squid-quizzes are the worst! Not really. Nice lens.

Lisa Auch from Scotland on December 17, 2012:

cough...think I must study a bit more !

anonymous on December 09, 2012:

Yes that was really clear. Thanks.

anonymous on November 26, 2012:

yes. thanks a lot!

siobhanryan on October 23, 2012:

Blessed-distinct idea for a lens

anonymous on October 08, 2012:

Thank you for this article- very informational. Worthy to check out.

See more: This Is The Framework Of Meaning Which Surrounds A Specific Word, Sentence, Idea, Or Passage.

Squidviews on October 06, 2012:

The worst one that I check out all the time is civilization mixing up then and than, can't acquire worse than that. LOL


Wendy Leanne (author) from Texas on September 07, 2012:

bskcom: Ha! That could not go over well at all, yet it certain would be grammatically correct! =)

bskcom on September 05, 2012:

Ahhh...so that's exactly how I deserve to e-mail my wife to tell her that her chicken casserole was worse than her pasta--which was the worst point I ever ate. :)

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on September 04, 2012:

You have done a wonderful job explaining the distinction between worse and worst.