Comparative adjectives are a type of grammar whose importance can be overlooked when learning English. If you are looking to be able to make a comparison between two nouns then you will certainly need the use of a comparative adjective. There are a whole host of comparative adjectives in the English language and by adding these to your vocabulary, you will have the opportunity to form more complex sentences.
In this section, we are going to be studying the comparative adjective and looking at some examples of how they can be used. By the end of the section, you will be confident in comparing two nouns using this method.
What Are Comparative Adjectives?
Comparative adjectives are words that compare two or more things. They’re usually used to express either a positive or a negative comparison between two people, places, ideas, or things. An example of a comparative adjective is “better”; it means more desirable than something else.
Forming Comparative Adjectives
There are two types of comparative adjectives: additive and comparative forms.
- Additive forms add “er” or “est” (for example, “hotter” or “coldest”) after the adjective being compared and denote increasing degrees of an attribute.
- Comparative forms contain words like “more” or “less” (for example, “more expensive” or “less dangerous”) which denote relative degree comparisons between two things on the same scale.
It’s important to understand the difference between these two types as they have different uses when comparing items on different scales (for instance if something is larger versus better).
1. Form the comparative forms of a one-syllable adjective by adding –er.
- long – longer
- tall – taller
2. If the one-syllable adjective ends with an e, just add –r for the comparative form.
- cute – cuter
- large – larger
3. Add –er to adjectives that end in consonant-vowel-consonant and double the last consonant.
- big – bigger
- hot – hotter
1. With most two-syllable adjectives, you form the comparative with more.
- honest – more honest
- famous – more famous
2. If the two-syllable adjectives ends with –y, change the y to i and add –er for the comparative form.
- happy – happier
- crazy – crazier
3. Two-syllable adjectives ending in –er, –le, or –ow take –er to form the comparative forms.
- narrow – narrower
- gentle – gentler
Adjectives with Three or More Syllables
Add more to adjectives that has 3 or more syllables.
- expensive – more expensive
- difficult – more difficult
- good – better
- bad – worse
- far – farther
- little – less
- many – more
NOTE: When comparative adjectives are used, the word “THAN” appears after the adjective.
Using Comparative Adjectives Correctly
Using comparative adjectives can be tricky, as there are many common mistakes people make. Often, people will use “more” or “less” with an adjective that already has a comparative form, such as brilliant (brillianter) instead of more brilliant. It’s important to understand the irregular forms and know when to use “than”.
For example, “I am smarter than him” is correct, not “I am more smart than him”.
To use comparative adjectives correctly, it’s helpful to remember some key points.
- Firstly, don’t forget the -er rule (but do be aware of some irregular forms).
- Secondly, pay attention when using “more” or “less”, and make sure you don’t have a comparative form for the word you’re using.
- Finally, take note of when you should/shouldn’t be using “than”. With practice and discipline, you’ll soon know how to use comparatives like a pro!
Examples of Comparative Adjectives
Examples of Comparative Adjectives in Context
Here are some examples which illustrate how comparative adjectives can be used in different contexts:
- This autumn has been colder than any other one I can remember!
- That dress is nicer than mine!
- Bigger isn’t always better – my new phone fits perfectly in my pocket even though it’s smaller than my previous one!
- Tom’s decision-making skills were much quicker than mine!
- This dessert tastes sweeter than I thought it would!
List of affirmative and comparative adjectives in English.
|Examples of Comparative Adjectives|
|polite||more polite than|
|helpful||more helpful than|
|useful||more useful than|
|interesting||more interesting than|
|comfortable||more comfortable than|
|beautiful||more beautiful than|
|difficult||more difficult than|
|dangerous||more dangerous than|
|expensive||more expensive than|
|popular||more popular than|
|complicated||more complicated than|
|confident||more confident than|
|stupid||less stupid than|
Forming Comparatives | Images
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Thanks a lot! It was a great help!