Unit 8.2

Comparisons with Adjectives and Adverbs


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Introduction

The comparison of adjectives and adverbs is used to compare things, people or actions, expressing the equalities or inequalities between them.

Form

The comparison can be formed by using adjectives or adverbs.

When we want to compare one thing with another we use the word than after the adjective or adverb.

The structure of the sentence is:
Subject + verb + comparative adjective/adverb + than + object + …

The comparative adjective or adverb is obtained differently depending on its number of syllables and on its suffix.

One syllable:

  • adjective/adverb: we add -er (clean ⇒ cleaner);
  • adjective/adverb with suffix -e: we add -r (simple ⇒ simpler);
  • adjectives ending with one vowel and one consonant: we double the final consonant before adding -er (big ⇒ bigger).

Two syllables (with suffix -y):

  • adjective/adverb ending in -y: change -y to –i and add –er (friendly ⇒ friendlier).

Two syllables (without suffix-y) or more syllables:

  • adjective/adverb not ending in -ymore + adjective/adverb (without changes) + than… (beautiful ⇒ more beautiful).

Example

  • My apartment is nicer than yours.
  • My friends are taller than yours.
  • We need a bigger car.
  • The estate agent is friendlier than the last one.
  • This garden is prettier than ours.
  • We should get up earlier tomorrow.
  • I am more popular than you.
  • This game is more boring than the other.
  • This book is more exciting than the last one I read.

Use

We use the comparison of adjectives/adverbs when we want to compare two or more things, people or actions.

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

Summary

The comparison of adjectives or adverbs is used to compare two or more things, people or actions, expressing the equalities or inequalities between them.

When we make a comparison using adjectives or adverbs, we start with the subject and the verb followed by a comparative adjective or an adverb followed by than and an object.

The form of the comparative adjective or adverb differs according to the number of syllables and the suffix of the adjective.

For example:
One-syllable
— We add -er at the end of the word: “Tall” ⇒ “Claire is taller than Paula.”
— With suffix -e, we add -r:”Nice” ⇒ “Anne is nicer than him.”
— With one vowel + one consonant, we double the consonant and add -er: “Thin” ⇒ “Karl is thinner than Paul.”

Two-syllables
— With suffix -y, -y becomes -i and we add -er: “Hungry ⇒ “Claire is hungrier than Paula.”

Two or more
— (Without suffix -y) We add more before the adjective/adverb: “Tired” ⇒ “Claire is more tired than Paula.”

NOTE: We can omit than, when we know from the context what the first noun is compared to: “Lately DVDs are less popular.

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

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