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Unit 8.2

Comparisons with Adjectives and Adverbs

Syntax

Comparisons with adjectives and adverbs are used to compare things, people or actions, expressing the equalities or inequalities between them.

Comparisons 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 + …

Comparisons with adjectives or adverbs are obtained differently depending on its number of syllables and on its suffix.

  • One syllable:
    • Adjective/adverb: we add -er (cleancleaner);
    • Adjective/adverb with suffix -e: we add -r (simplesimpler);
    • Adjectives ending with one vowel and one consonant: we double the final consonant before adding -er (bigbigger).
  • Two syllables:
    • Adjective/adverb ending in -y: change -y to –i and add –er (friendlyfriendlier).
  • Two or more syllables:
    • Adjective/adverb not ending in -y: moreadjective/adverb (without changes) + than… (beautifulmore beautiful).
  • 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 with suffix -y
    • I am friendlier than Max.
    • Kate is prettier than Martha.
    • We should get up earlier tomorrow.
  • Two (without suffix-y) or more syllables
    • I am more popular than you.
    • He is more boring than his brother
    • This book is more exciting than the last one.

We use comparisons with 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).

Comparisons with adjectives or adverbs are used to compare two or more things, people or actions, expressing the equalities or inequalities between them.

Their structure is:
 … + comparative adjective/adverb + than + …

Their form differs according to the number of syllables and the suffix of the adjective.

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

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

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

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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