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English Grammar Comparative form of Adjectives

When we compare two things or people we look at what makes them different from each other.

For example:

Tall / Short

tallshort

The man on the left is taller than the man on the right.
The man on the right is shorter than the man on the left.
Fast / Slow

car bicycle

A car is faster than a bicycle.
A bicycle is slower than a car.

Comparative adjectives are used to show what quality one thing has more or less than the other. They normally come before any other adjectives.

For example:

Big / Small

blue bag red bag

The red bag is bigger than the blue bag.
The blue bag is smaller than the red bag.

Forming the comparative

Form Rule For example
Words of one syllable ending in 'e'.
Add -r to the end of the word.

wide - wider

Words of one syllable, with one vowel and one consonant at the end. Double the consonant and add -er to the end of the word.

big - bigger

Words of one syllable, with more than one vowel or more than one consonant at the end. Add - er to the end of the word. high - higher
Words of two syllables, ending in 'y'. Change 'y' to 'i', and add -er to the end of the word. happy - happier
Words of two syllables or more, not ending in 'y'. Place 'more' before the adjective. beautiful - more beautiful

The following adjectives are exceptions to this rule:

  • 'good' becomes 'better'
  • 'bad' becomes 'worse'
  • 'far' becomes 'farther' or 'further'

!Note - When comparing two things like this we put than between the adjective and the thing being compared.

For example:-

  • "Mount Everest is higher than Mount Snowdon."
  • "Arguably, Rome is more beautiful than Paris.