It’s that time again where we get the opportunity to improve our English that bit more with our weekly grammar post. Today we are going to look at comparative adjectives in English and how they are both formed and used.
Comparatives of one-syllable adjectives
In order to make the comparative form of a one-syllable adjective, we simply add “er” to the end of the adjective. In other words to make the comparative form of the adjective “tall”, we just add “er” to the end and we now have the comparative form “taller”. It’s also important to remember that after comparatives we use the conjunction “than”.
Jane is 1m 65 and Claire is 1m 60.
Jane is taller than Claire.
One-syllable adjectives and their comparative form:
Short – Shorter than
Big – Bigger than
Small – Smaller than
Old – Older than
Young – Younger than
Rich – Richer than
Nice – Nicer than
Poor – Poorer than
Pay close attention to the fact that we have doubled the “g” at the end of the adjective “big”. This is due to the fact that “big” is a one-syllable adjective which ends with a consonant which is preceded by a vowel.
Two or more syllable adjectives and their comparatives.
When adjectives have 2 syllables in English, the general rule for making the comparative form is to change the “y” to and “i” and add “er”.
Pretty – Prettier than
Funny – Funnier than
Silly – Sillier than
Dirty – Dirtier than
When we want to create the comparative form of adjectives that have two or more syllables and don’t end with the letter “y”, we cannot add “er” but instead use the adverb “more” before before the adjective.
Expensive – More expensive than
Comfortable – More comfortable than
Interesting – More interesting than
Dangerous – More dangerous than
Remember that if we wish to express the idea of not so much, then we need to use the adverb “less”.
My car is more comfortable than your car.
Your car is less comfortable than my car.
Football is more dangerous than tennis.
Tennis is less dangerous than football.
Adjectives which have irregular comparatives
As we all know, nothing is ever straight-forward. There is always an exception or irregularity along the way and comparative adjectives are no different. The 3 adjectives which have irregular comparatives are: good, bad and far.
Adjectives with their irregular comparatives:
Good – Better than
Bad – Worse than
Far – Farther / Further than
My English is better than my French.
The weather in England is worse than in Spain.
Your house is farther from Frankfurt than mine.
Bear in mind that “farther” and “further” mean the same when we are talking about distance but only “further” can be used if we are asking someone for additional information.
If you would like any more information on comparative adjectives in English, you can check out unit 80 of the complete ABA online course. Remember that studying for 20 minutes daily is better than 3 hours once a week. If you stay focused you will improve your English and see the results very quickly.
If you are serious about continuing with English then sign up for your free trial of the ABA English course and start improving your English today.