Monday, 11 April 2011


Formation of Comparative Adjectives

There are two ways to make or form a comparative adjective:
  • short adjectives: add "-er"
  • long adjectives: use "more"
Short adjectives
  • 1-syllable adjectives
old, fast
  • 2-syllable adjectives ending in -y
happy, easy
Normal rule: add "-er"old → older
Variation: if the adjective ends in -e, just add -rlate → later
Variation: if the adjective ends in consonant, vowel, consonant, double the last consonantbig → bigger
Variation: if the adjective ends in -y, change the y to ihappy → happier
Long adjectives
  • 2-syllable adjectives not ending in -y
modern, pleasant
  • all adjectives of 3 or more syllables
expensive, intellectual
Normal rule: use "more"modern → more modern
expensive → more expensive

The following adjectives have irregular forms:
  • good → better
  • well (healthy) → better
  • bad → worse
  • far → farther/further

Use of Comparative Adjectives

We use comparative adjectives when talking about 2 things (not 3 or 10 or 1,000,000 things, only 2 things).
Often, the comparative adjective is followed by "than".
Look at these examples:
  • John is 1m80. He is tall. But Chris is 1m85. He is taller than John.
  • America is big. But Russia is bigger.
  • I want to have a more powerful computer.
  • Is French more difficult than English?
If we talk about the two planets Earth and Mars, we can compare them as shown in the table below:
Diameter (km)12,7606,790Mars is smaller than Earth.
Distance from Sun (million km)150228Mars is more distant from the Sun.
Length of day (hours)2425A day on Mars is slightly longer than a day on Earth.
Moons12Mars has more moons than Earth.
Surface temperature (degrees Celcius)22-23Mars is colder than Earth.

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