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Comparisons

1. What are comparison?

Comparisons are used to compare two things.
That means saying one is bigger, smaller, fatter, etc.

Comparison start with adjectives.
How to make comparisons depends on how long the adjective is.

2. One syllable adjectives

For adjectives that are one syllable, add ‘-er’.
Sometimes small changes must be made to suit the adjective ending.

adjective endingexamplecomparison endingexample
shortershorter
elargeerlarger
single vowel + single consonantfatsingle vowel + double consonant + erfatter
adjectivecomparisonexample sentence
talltallerHamish is taller than his father.
shortshorterJodie is shorter than her sisters.
sweetsweeterCola is sweeter than ice cream.
largelargerA whale is larger than a shark.
nicenicerThe boss said I should be nicer.
bigbiggerThe company is getting bigger.
fatfatterI am fatter than I was last year.

*Important note:
The comparison for ‘good’ is ‘better’.
The comparison for ‘bad’ is ‘worse’.

AdjectiveComparisonFull sentence
goodbetterSherry is better at Italian than Jill.
badworseMalik is worse at singing than you.

3. Two syllable adjectives

For adjectives that are two syllables, both ‘-er’ and ‘more …’ are used.

Adjectives that end in an unstressed syllable use ‘er’.
Adjectives that end in ‘…ing’, ‘…en’, ‘…ed’, ‘…ous’, ‘…ious’, or ‘…ful’ generally use ‘more …’.

Adjective endingExampleComparisonExample
stupid…erstupider
ydirty…ierdirtier
…ingboringmore …more boring
…enwoodenmore …more wooden
…edtiredmore …more tired
…ousfamousmore …more famous
…iouspiousmore …more pious
…fulcheerfulmore …more cheerful
AdjectiveComparisonExample
simplesimplerHe finds maths simpler than history.
shallowshallowerThe water is shallower near the rocks.
spicyspicierThis curry is spicier than the one your dad makes.
prettyprettierBrian’s girlfriend is prettier than his wife.
livelylivelierTre’s funeral was livelier than Mark’s party.
brokenmore brokenAfter playing with the toy, it is more broken than it was yesterday.
tiredmore tiredThomas is more tired than before his holiday.
wickedmore wickedThe old man was more wicked than his wife.
pompousmore pompousJerry becomes more pompous as he gets older.
playfulmore playfulThe cat is more playful than the dog.

4. Three or more syllable adjectives

Comparisons for adjectives with three or more syllables use ‘more …’.

AdjectiveComparisonExample
interestingmore interestingThis game is much more interesting than the last one.
deliciousmore deliciousI think cherries are more delicious than oranges.
fascinatingmore fascinatingThe TV series gets more fascinating as it goes on.
dangerousmore dangerousA hippopotamus is more dangerous than a giraffe.
outrageousmore outrageousFrank’s behaviour is getting more outrageous. We should fire him.
colourfulmore colourfulA woodpecker is more colourful than a sparrow.

5. Exercises

1. Compare two people you know. Who is taller? Who is fatter? Who is more beautiful/handsome?

2. Think of two superheroes. Compare them, and choose which one would win a fight (and why).

3. Imagine trying to sell something to someone. Tell them why the thing you are selling is better than the thing they already have.

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