I'm a certified English teacher who offered to teach sophomore English prior to becoming a full time mommy.

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Worse or Worst? Discover When to Use Each Word Correctly

Sometimes, English have the right to be tough. One of the a lot of common word intake mistakes is confutilizing "worse" with "worst." When speaking, your audience could not hear the mistake, yet in composing, you will certainly certainly want to gain it right.

"Worse" and also "worst" sound similar, yet when you understand that "worse" is provided once comparing two items and "worst" announces the winner in the competition of who's the the majority of bad, it becomes a lot much easier to usage the best word.

As a certified English teacher—I taught sophoeven more English before becoming a full time mom—I'd see this mistake all the moment. 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 choose "much better." It indicates that, when comparing 2 things, one is considered to be "worse" (and also not "worst") than the other. Worse implies of a lower quality or standard.

Margaret's food preparation is worse than Joe's.Wooden roller coasters are much worse than steel ones.Cheer is worse than Tide for gaining stains out.Artificial sweeteners are worse for your health and wellness than sugar.I feel even worse this day than I did yesterday.

What does worst mean?

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

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

That was the worst movie ever!I have the worst memory once it pertains to names.The hottest part of the day is the worst time to carry out yard work in the summer months.Skunks are the worst-smelling pets.Yuck! That's the worst restaurant in tvery own.

Neat trick: See how in each of these examples, "worst" is predelivered by "the"? So in a sentence, if you usage the short article "the" simply prior to, remember that "worst" will typically follow.


When to Use "Worse" In a Sentence

Use "worse" once you're making a comparison between two things: "Rotten fish smells also worse than rotten eggs."

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

Use "worse" with "than". Due to the fact that "worse" is comparative, it is regularly provided through the word "than" in comparisons: "The 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 comparison is implied, so you won't view 2 points being compared in the sentence: "Hamburgers and also sliders are basically the same, however I think sliders are worse ."

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

Use "worse" to explain somepoint that is degrading, even as soon as the comparison is implicit (unspoken): "The economic climate is gaining a lot worse ."

Taking that test was worse than obtaining punched in the eye... yet flunking is the worst!

When to Use "Worst" In a Sentence

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

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

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

Test Your Understanding With a Rapid Quiz

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

Anna and Gwen are both messy, however 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 obtaining worse.This is correct.No: "My mood is getting worst" is correct.Skim milk is worst than totality milk.That is correct.No: Skim milk is worse than totality milk.My cat sheds, but it is worse in the winter months.That is correct!No: My cat sheds, yet it is worst in the winter months.Worse is yet to come if it doesn't soptimal raining.That is correct.No: Worst is yet to come if it doesn't speak raining.Things took a rotate for the worse.That is correct!No: Things took a rotate for the worst.That is the worse excusage I've ever heard.That is correct!No: That is the worst excusage I've ever 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 before heard.


Is it "worst for worst" or "worse for worse"?! Due to the fact that it's a comparison, you'd usage "worse."

Usual Idioms That Include Worse or Worst

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

"When worse pertains to worst."

This phrase simply implies that a bad situation (one that was ssuggest worse off than another) has now end up being the the majority of damaging that it could probably be (it is currently the worst). A contemporary take on this idiom is the expression "from negative to worse."

"Worst case."

This phrase is frequently misspoken with the word "worse," but the correct method to say it is via "worst." The intention is you are planning for the worst possible outcome. You frequently hear the expression "worst-instance scenario" describing the many negative possible outcome that could happen in a given case.

"None the worse for wear."

This implies that the difficulty or extra initiative didn't leave an individual or item any worse off. Although an item was used, it was not destroyed.

"Their bark is worse than their bite."

This idiom ssuggest compares a person's behavior (their "bark") through their intention (their bite). It suggests that they might complain loudly, but once it comes ideal dvery own to it, the noise they make is more painful than anypoint else that can occur.

"A fate worse than death."

This idiom compares a instance with death and also asserts that what has actually befallen is even worse than dying. Due to the fact that you're comparing two items, you usage "worse."

"Take a revolve for the worse."

This is perhaps the expression that is many frequently misspoken. The case has gained worse than it was initially, therefore, you usage "worse" and also not "worst."

Bad —> Worse —> Worst!

© 2011 Wendy Leanne

What carry out you think? How carry out you remember to use these words correctly?

David on January 24, 2019:

oops, essential typo:

I assumed the saying was "when worst comes to worse"

To reiterate: the instance was thneed to currently be the worst however then it became worse.

Ngram finds no outcomes for this yet I thought I'd share my mistake and reasoning.


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

Your explacountry is excellent. I understood the difference in between 2. If you put some exercise on worse and also worst implies it will be extremely aid to exercise..

GalaxyRat on June 11, 2017:

Worst and worse sound and look starray when you think around it. :D

Andrea on December 22, 2015:

Googled Worse vs. Worst after I recorded the typo in a publimelted book and nearly put the book dvery own. After looking a dozen write-ups, THIS one clarified it so very well.

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

This was so helpful give thanks to you. I'm a new fan.

Lynn Klobuchar on March 29, 2014:

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

norma-holt on February 16, 2014:

Great leans. I required to examine on the distinction in between these words for something I am creating and came across this lens. Good job-related.

anonymous on August 26, 2013:

Thanks for answering my Worse vs. Worst questions! That dang English language gets you eextremely now 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 much better practise my english gooder before it gets worst. LOL

suepogson on February 17, 2013:

Very clear - thanks

Wedding Mom on February 07, 2013:

anonymous: No. It would always be worded worst instance scenario, worse case scenario would always be awkward. If you were to compare two scenarios it would be worded "winning $100 would certainly be worse than winning $200." Or you could say scenario A is worse than scenario B. When worse is provided it need to be once comparing one thing or instance to an additional.

anonymous on February 06, 2013:



anonymous on January 21, 2013:

My mom would have actually been the worse prepare if tbelow 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 should examine a bit even more !

anonymous on December 09, 2012:

Yes that was really clear. Thanks.

anonymous on November 26, 2012:

yes. many thanks a lot!

siobhanryan on October 23, 2012:

Blessed-distinctive concept for a lens

anonymous on October 08, 2012:

Thank you for this article- exceptionally informational. Worthy to read.

Squidviews on October 06, 2012:

The worst one that I view all the time is human being mixing up then and also than, can't get worse than that. LOL


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

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

bskcom on September 05, 2012:

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

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on September 04, 2012:

You have done a terrific project explaining the distinction in between worse and worst.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on September 01, 2012:

I aced the quiz so I guess my worst fears were not to be realized. I do indeed recognize the distinction between worse and worst.

anonymous on August 28, 2012:

Very helpful, give thanks to you.

anonymous on July 26, 2012:

Great Article

anonymous on July 26, 2012:

Awesome info and they really make certain you obtain the point

anonymous on July 25, 2012:

Crystal Clear! ^_^

Aster56 on July 25, 2012:

Good test.

anonymous on July 24, 2012:

absolutely it helps!!! give thanks to u!!!

anonymous on July 20, 2012:

You are awesome! Thank you!

anonymous on July 20, 2012:

You are awesome! Thank you!

anonymous on June 29, 2012:

Thank you, English is my second language and this was extremely helpful

anonymous on June 27, 2012:

Yes! Thanks!

Ninuzza on June 12, 2012:

Nice lesson--realized that also though I understand better, I frequently say, "took a revolve for the worst"! Thanks for the reminder!

Virginia Allum LM on June 02, 2012:

Nice lens. Good resource for teachers to give students to usage at home.

anonymous on May 19, 2012:

Great! Thanks.

anonymous on May 19, 2012:

Very impressed; that was an excellent explanation. The examples and also the inquiries were additionally fairly advantageous.

BestRatedStuff on May 05, 2012:

I too had actually no genuine problem with these words, yet, I did reap how you described it, and also it was certainly much better then I can. Thanks for sharing.

PaulRyan on April 28, 2012:

:) I have actually no troubles with worse and worst, but many kind of civilization do. Now I have actually a fun page to send them eextremely time they make a mistake!

anonymous on April 28, 2012:

That was great! Thx

anonymous on April 16, 2012:

Thanks, I remembered that worst = best, but necessary the refresher course on worse = much better. Your leschild was concise and simple to understand. I knew it was going to be great when I saw that you were an English Teacher AND a Mom.

anonymous on April 12, 2012:

I acquire it currently...

anonymous on April 11, 2012:

It was great! TY

Indigo Janson from UK on March 31, 2012:

Good, clear explacountry of worse vs. worst. I regularly view people acquiring tripped up by sound-alike or spell-alike words of this sort. Lose vs loose is another one, not to point out bear vs bare. It constantly provides me smile at the visual picture when someone writes "bear via me" and also I silently reply "no thanks, I don't know you well enough!" ;)

anonymous on March 26, 2012:

great answers, however I'd favor to offer my definition of Worse vs Worst;

as soon as comparichild 2 or a number of things, usage Worse for 2 things and Worst for even more than 2. e.g. This is WORSE than the various other. This is the WORST.

anonymous on March 16, 2012:

This was incredibly helpful, thank-you.

anonymous on March 10, 2012:

Thank you, this lesson was really extremely well explain. I will certainly never before forgain the difference worse vs worst !!!

anonymous on February 28, 2012:

Thanks for sharing via us this explanation. It was simply great. I will remember this lesson always ;)

Chazz from New York on February 05, 2012:

Thanks for an excellent lens that addresses one of the worst grammar mistakes on my pet peeves list.

anonymous on January 19, 2012:

Well, I missed one yet I blame myself for not analysis thoabout. Anyway, this was a really helpful article. I've constantly struggled with it. Thank you for the help!

Fay Favored from USA on January 10, 2012:

Yes. It would look pretty bad if a teacher obtained them wrong. The quiz was a great concept. We all should be refreshed as soon as in a while. Here's one I am always correcting for people: a lot vs. a lot. (or allot). There have been good disagreements over this one.

WayneDave LM on November 21, 2011:

It is pretty basic really! Nice lens though, many thanks for sharing.

anonymous on November 19, 2011:

Nice one. Squidoo is beneficial I also like http://www.squidoo.com/teach-your-children-english

anonymous on November 18, 2011:

I got 100% on the quiz, but this lens would certainly be incredibly useful for anyone that struggles to tell the distinction in between these 2 words. Thanks for sharing!

anonymous on November 13, 2011:


spartakct on November 08, 2011:

Nice lens!

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on October 20, 2011:

Yikes, another English teacher...nicely done reresource web page.

anonymous: Hi, Katie. Thank you so a lot for letting me recognize about the typo. That was so sweet of you to take the moment to tell me. I'm dyslexic and also tend to miss typos favor that.

"Could today get any type of worse?" is in deed correct. You are asking if this particular day might obtain worse than it presently is. Because of this you are comparing two items, which would certainly make it "worse" and also not "worst." On the various other hand, you would certainly say "This day is the worst!" Because in that case you are claiming it's the worst day ever before.

Great question! Thanks for preventing by. =)

anonymous on October 20, 2011:

Hi, you have actually a typo:

"While worse compares wto items, worst is a superlative."

p.s. What about: Could this particular day obtain any worse? Is this correct?

Johanna Eisler on October 01, 2011:

Excellent explacountry. :) Three cheers for grammar lenses! (Also spelling lenses - are tright here any? Think I'll go examine.)

anonymous on September 08, 2011:

I understand five languages - And Tamil being my mommy tongue; always wondered, which of the various other four would need to considered my 'second' language! But then I love English and also its idiosyncrasies too much! :)

Wendy Leanne (author) from Texas on August 29, 2011:

anonymous: Yes, that is correct because you are utilizing it in a comparative statement. You are saying that it is going to gain worse that the existing situation.

See more: Un Indocumentado Puede Viajar En Avion Dentro De Los Estados Unidos

anonymous on August 29, 2011:

what about: "it wont gain much better prior to it gets worse" .is this correct??

GrowWear on August 05, 2011:

Have checked out much confusion via worse and also worst. This must be a genuine assist for folks.