Unit 2.2

Modifiers of Comparisons

Syntax

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Introduction

Comparatives are used to make a comparison between two things, people or actions, expressing the equalities or inequalities between them. {see Comparisons with Adjectives and Adverbs, A1 level}

We can modify adjectives and adverbs in comparative forms in order to intensify the degree of certain words and phrases.

Form

Modifiers of comparisons don’t stand alone, but rather act with other elements of the sentence to create the main sense, they usually come before adjectives and adverbs.

The most used are: a bit, a little, a lot, far, much, not much, rather, slightly…

Example

  • These high heels are a bit darker than the others.
  • *This exhibition is a little bigger than the one we saw yesterday.
  • Her wedding dress was a lot prettier than mine.
  • The leaflet has far more colours than the poster does.
  • His sports shoes are much lighter than mine.
  • Online purchasing is not much cheaper than buying from a shop.
  • That’s rather more than I intended to say.
  • This skirt is slightly longer than the pink one.

Use

We use modifiers of comparisons to intensify the degree of adjectives and adverbs.

Some of the most common modifiers are:

  • A bit to refer to a small portion or degree;
  • A little to refer to small in size;
  • A lot to refer to a large number/amount;
  • Far to refer to a considerable degree;
  • Much to refer to great in degree;
  • Not much to refer to not great in degree;
  • Rather to refer to a certain extent;
  • Slightly to refer to in small measure.

Summary

Comparative adjectives and adverbs are used to compare two things, people or actions and they can be intensified by certain modifiers in order to specify the degree of intensity of some words or phrases. We usually put them before adjectives and adverbs. {see Comparisons with Adjectives and Adverbs, A1 level}

The most used are: a bit, a little, a lot far, much, not much, rather, slightly

For example:
“That red skirt is slightly tighter than the black one.” = Slightly is used to indicate that there is a small difference between the two skirts.
“This emergency exit is much larger than the one at the hospital.” = Much is used to indicate that there is a big difference between the two exits.
♦ “This emergency exit is larger than the one at the hospital.” = The meaning does not change that much with just the comparative form, but there is no intensity on how big the difference between the two exits is.

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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