1. What are comparison?

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

2. How to make comparisons

Comparison start with adjectives.

There are two main ways to make comparisons:

  • x (be) (adjective + er) than y
  • x (be) (more + adjective) than y

Which structure to choose depends on how long the adjective is.

3. One syllable adjectives

For adjectives that are one syllable, add ‘-er’.

Sometimes small changes must be made to suit the adjective ending.

Adjective endingExample adjectiveComparison endingExample comparisonExample sentence
shortershorterJules is shorter than that tree.
elargeerlargerPoland is larger than the UK.
single vowel + single consonantfatsingle vowel + double consonant + erfatterThe cats are fatter than pigs.

4. Examples for one syllable adjectives

Adjectiveadj. + erExample 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.

Good and bad

The comparison for ‘good’ is ‘better’.
The comparison for ‘bad’ is ‘worse’.

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

5. Two syllable adjectives

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

Which one is used is based on rules:

Adjective endingExample adjectiveComparisonExample comparisonExample sentence
stupid…erstupiderThis class is stupider than any other in the school.
ydirty…ierdirtierThe house looks dirtier than before we started spring cleaning.
…ingboringmore …more boringNicky finds films more boring than books.
…enwoodenmore …more woodenThis Christmas’s toys are more wooden than last year’s.
…edtiredmore …more tiredDelia and Noel are more tired than they are telling you.
…ousfamousmore …more famousWhy are singers more famous than scientists?
…iouspiousmore …more piousIn his old age Marcus has become more pious.
…fulcheerfulmore …more cheerfulMy mother tells me I should be more cheerful. It is very annoying.

6. Examples for two syllable adjectives

AdjectiveComparisonExample sentence
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.

7. Three or more syllable adjectives

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

8. Examples for three syllable adjectives

AdjectiveComparisonExample sentence
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.

9. 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.