Comparative Sentences - Quynh Huong Center for Foreign Language Translation & Education

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21 May 2014

Comparative Sentences

Equal Comparion

We use the pattern "" to say that things are equal. In a negative statement we use either "" or ""
Form: S1 + TOBE/ V + AS + ADJ/ ADV + AS + S2 + ...
Ex: I don't drink as/ so much tea as you do. The tree is as tall as the house. The film isn't as/ so good as the book.

Comparative with "Than/ More than"

We often use "than" after a comparative. Ex: China is bigger than Vietnam. Flying is a lot quicker than going by train. Prices are higher than I expected.
Form: With one/ two syllable adjectives/ adverbs (Short adj/ adv)
S1 + TOBE/ V + ADJ/ ADV + "_ER" + THAN + S2 + ...
Short adj/ adv usually have a comparative form in "_er". Some take either "_er" or "more" such adj/ adv include: "clear, safe, fair, free, keen, proud, rude, sure, true, bored, pleased..."
Ex: It's warmer in here than outside. Our new flat is nicer. The story seemed more real in the film. I feel safer/ more safe on the cycle path.
Form: with more than two syllable adj/ adv (long adj/ adv).
S1 + TOBE/ V + MORE + ADJ/ ADV + THAN + S2 + ...
Long adj/ adv form the comparative with "more". Ex: Our new place is more central. Skiing is more difficult than it looks. You work harder than I do. If I help, we will finish the job sooner.
Note: these adj/ adv take "more":
  • Ending: "_ful, _less, _Ing, _ed ..." Ex: careful, hopeful, helpless, useless, boring, annoyed ..."
  • Some two-syllable adj/ adv take either "_er" or "more". They include: "able, clever, feeble, gentle, narrow, pleasant, polite, quiet, simple, stupid, tired..." We use "_er" with most tow-syllable adj/ adv ending in "_y": "happy, funny, angry..." Ex: In the countries are quieter/ more quiet than the cities. She is more clever/ cleverer than me. Life would be easier if I had a job. I got up earlier than usual. You can buy them cheaper/ more cheap on the internet.
Note: a pronoun on its own after "as" or "than" has the object form. Ex: I'm not as tall as him. It is formal to say: "I am not as tall as he". But we say: "I'm not as tall as he is".

Superlative Comparision

Form: with short adj/ adv
S + TOBE/ V + THE + ADJ/ ADV + "_EST" + ...
Short adj/ adv usually have a superlative form in "_est". Ex: this is the oldest building in the town. We should Use the simplest method. Where is the nearest post office? This jacket is the latest fashion.
Form: with long adj/ adv
S + TOBE/ V + THE MOST + ADJ/ADV + ...
Long adj/ adv form the superlative with "the most". Ex: health is the most important thing. She is the most irritating person I know. He is the most intelligent in my class.

Other Kinds of Comparision

  • "...Adj/ adv + "er" + and + adj/ adv + "er" or "more and more" (with "more" we do not repeat the adj/adv): this pattern expresses a continuing change. Ex: the plant grew taller and taller. The air gets more and more polluted. There is more and more traffic.
  • We can also use "less". Ex: I felt less and less keen on the idea.
  • "Less, least" are the opposites of "more, most". Ex: the place is less busy on a Sunday. This is the least expensive model.
  • A pattern with "the...the..." links a change in one thing to a change in another. Ex: the further you go; the more you pay. The later I get up, the more tired I feel. The older you get, the harder it becomes to start a new career.

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