The name kind of gives it away, isn’t it? A comparative adjective is used to compare two things or two individuals. i.e John is smarter than Jimmy. Is it that simple?
Let’s look at another example of a comparative adjective. Shall we?
say you have two friends John & Jimmy. There is one thing that we are naturally good at (any guess) that is of course comparing. so you would wonder who is taller than the other? in this case, “taller” is a comparative adjective. Because it is comparing two people. Perhaps, you would say John is taller than Jimmy. Or if you put it another way, you might say, ” Jimmy is shorter than John” In this case, shorter is the comparative adjective.
TIP- Comparative adjective is used to talk about two things not more than two.
Structure/Formation of the comparative Adjective
We can use “as….as” to say that people or things are equal in a particular way. (Not Comparative Adjectice)
. John earns as much money as peter. ( They earn the same amount of money)
. John has as expensive mobile as Peter. ( they are the same price)
Negative structure: so…as instead of as… as. To say two things are not the same.
. John is not so friendly as Jimmy is. ( Jimmy is less friendly)
. John is not so rich as Jimmy is.
TIP- When two different qualities in the same person are compared, more is used instead of er to form the comparative.
Incorrect: Emma is fairer than polite.
Correct: Emma is more fair than polite.
Incorrect: Smith is fatter than tall.
Correct: Smith is more fat than tall.
Most one-syllable or short adjectives normally have comparatives ending in – er
Old becomes older
Happy becomes happier
Tall becomes taller
Remember that if the adjective ends in –e, just add –r
Late becomes Later
Nice becomes nicer
Wise becomes wiser
For the adjective that ends in – y, you just have to drop “y” and add- ier
Pretty become prettier
Early becomes earlier
Happy becomes happier
NOTE: There are some 2-syllable adjectives, with which either “-er” OR “more” is used.
Quiet —- Quieter or more quiet
Clever— cleverer or more cleaver
Simple— simpler or more simple
The second important point to remember for the correct formation of the comparative adjective is to use more for the three or more syllables adjectives.
Expensive becomes more expensive
Intelligent becomes more intelligent
Beautiful becomes more beautiful
As always there are exceptions to the basic rules. Look at the following irregular forms:-
Comparative Adjectives Quiz
Take a quiz to see what you have learned on the Comparative Adjective page.
How do you mix past, present, and future tense without making your reader or listener giddy? Learn tenses to talk about time.