43 Comparatives

Adjectives

Comparative Adjectives/Adverbs are used to make a comparison between two things, people or actions, expressing the equalities or inequalities between them.

The Comparatives can be made using Adjectives or Adverbs. We use the word than after an Adjective/Adverb to compare one thing with another.

The Comparatives have this structure:
Subject + verb + comparative Adjective/Adverb + than* + object.

We cannot change the suffixes of Adjective/Adverb followed by “more”. We put “than” after these Adjective/Adverb.
[…more + adjective (without changes) + than…].

*There are situations in which you can omit “than” depending on the context.
e.g. I am feeling better today. (I was not feeling well yesterday, therefore I am comparing yesterday and today.)

The Comparative form of an Adjective/Adverb is obtained differently depending on its number of syllables and on its suffix.

  • One syllable:
    • Generally, with one-syllable Adjective/Adverb we just add -er (e.g. clean -> cleaner).
    • Adjectives ending with one vowel and one consonant: We usually double the final consonant before adding -er (e.g. big -> bigger).
    • With one-syllable Adjective/Adverb ending with -e we just add +r (e.g. simple -> simpler).
fast faster
fat fatter
strange stranger
  • Two syllables ending in -y: Change -y to –and add –er.
friendly frendlier 
funny funnier
early earlier
  • Two or more syllables not ending in -y: moreAdjective/Adverb (without changes).
beautiful more beautiful
boring more boring
quietly more quietly

One syllable:

  • I am cleaner than him.
  • Their brother is older than my sister.
  • Peter is going to talk to him later about the house.

Two syllables ending with -y:

  • I am friendlier than Max.
  • Kate is prettier than Martha.
  • We should get up earlier tomorrow.

Two or more syllables not ending with -y:

  • I am more popular than you.
  • He is more boring than his brother.
  • Recently Internet is working more appropriately.

We use Comparative Adjective/Adverb when we want to compare two or more things, people or actions.

We use Comparative Adjective/Adverb when we wish to make a comparison between two things, people or actions, expressing the equalities or inequalities between them.

The Comparative’s structure is formed differently according to the number of syllables and the suffix of the adjective.

For example:
One-syllable: “Claire is older than Paula.” = Because the word old has one syllable, we just add -er (With one-syllable Adjective/Adverb ending with one vowel and one consonant we usually double the final consonant before adding -er (e.g. big -> bigger)).
— Two-syllables ending in -y:
Claire is prettier than Paula.” = Because the word pretty ends with -y, -y becomes -i and and we need to add -er.
Two or more syllables not ending in -y: Claire is more sympathetic than Paula.” = Because the word sympathetic has more than one syllables, we need to write more before the adjective. The Adjective/Adverb does not change when using more.
Omission of than:Lately DVDs are less popular.” = We can understand from the context that we are comparing present and past so we can omit than.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.