When we compare things, people or even ideas we look at what makes them different from each other.
Comparative adjectives are used to show what quality one thing has more or less than the other. They normally come before any other adjectives.
!Tip - It's a good idea to learn opposites (antonyms) when learning adjectives.
Tall / Short
The man on the right is shorter than the man on the left.
!Note - Have you noticed that when we are comparing two things like this we put than between the adjective and the thing being compared.
Fast / Slow
A bicycle is slower than a car.
Big / Small
The blue bag is smaller than the red bag.
Forming the comparative
The way you form the comparative from an adjective depends – on the number of syllables and the spelling of the adjective.
|Words of one syllable ending in 'e'.||
Add -r to the end of the word.
wide - wider
A motorway is wider than a road.
|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
|For example:-http://www.leunig.com.au/ - Reproduced with permission.|
|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|
|Mount Everest is higher than Mount Snowdon.|
|Words of two syllables, ending in 'y'.||Change 'y' to 'i', and add -er to the end of the word.||happy - happier|
Some people seem to be luckier than other people.
|Words of two syllables or more, not ending in 'y'.||Place 'more' before the adjective.||beautiful - more beautiful|
Arguably Rome is more beautiful than Paris.
!Warning - For every rule, there is at least one exception and there are also irregular adjectives that you need to memorise as you come across them.
- 'good' becomes 'better'
- 'bad' becomes 'worse'
- 'far' becomes 'farther' or 'further'
You can find a list of common irregular adjectives here.
!Warning - A lot of people write "then" instead of "than"- avoid it as it's simply not correct, and let's face it, you would be marked down in a test or exam.