ADJECTIVES USED IN COMPARISONS: PART 2
1. Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives which do not use endings
Adjectives which follow the model of the French language do not use the endings er and est. Instead, the adjectives are preceded by the adverbs more and most.
a. Comparative forms: The use of More
The comparative form of an adjective which does not take endings is formed by placing the word more before the positive form of the adjective.
e.g. She is more intelligent than her sister.
He is more determined than his brother.
In these examples, the comparative forms of the adjectives intelligent and determined have been formed by placing the word more before the positive forms of the adjectives.
1. For each of the following sentences, fill in the blank with the comparative form of the adjective indicated in brackets. For example:
They are ___________ than they used to be. (careful)
They are more careful than they used to be.
1. Wool is _______________ than cotton. (resilient)
2. He is _______________ than I had expected. (excited)
3. She is a _______________ scholar than her sister is. (diligent)
4. Bev is a __________________ engineer than Pat. (experienced)
5. Russian is a _______________ language to learn than English is. (difficult)
6. This book is _______________ than that one. (interesting)
With the exception of two-syllable adjectives ending in y, most adjectives of more than one syllable form the comparative with the adverb more.
In addition, a few one-syllable adjectives, including one-syllable past participles used as adjectives, form the comparative with the adverb more.
e.g. This nail is more bent than that one.
He is more skilled than his brother.
She is more spoiled than her cousin.
The following table summarizes the formation of the comparative forms of English adjectives.
The Comparative forms of English Adjectives
Adjectives which take Endings
Adjectives used with More
Most one-syllable adjectives,
A few one-syllable adjectives,
e.g. strong, stronger
e.g. bent, more bent
Two-syllable adjectives ending
Most adjectives of more than one
in y, e.g. easy, easier,
syllable, e.g. graceful, more graceful
and a few other two-syllable
adjectives, e.g. quiet, quieter
i. The comparative form followed by Than
Adjectives which form the comparative with the adverb more are used in the same constructions as adjectives which form the comparative with the ending er.
The following examples illustrate the use of the two types of comparative form followed by than.
e.g. Tom is wiser than Ned.
Tom is more intelligent than Ned.
Parchment is stronger than paper.
Parchment is more durable than paper.
2. Paying attention to which adjectives form the comparative with the adverb more and which form the comparative with the ending er, fill in the blanks with the comparative forms of the adjectives indicated in brackets. For example:
The clothes are _____ than I had expected. (dry)
The clothes are drier than I had expected.
Walter Scott is __________ than Walter Brooks. (famous)
Walter Scott is more famous than Walter Brooks.
1. The pears are _______________ than the plums. (hard)
2. The roses are ______________ than the nasturtiums. (beautiful)
3. The tomatoes are _______________ than the apples. (expensive)
4. My bicycle is _______________ than yours. (new)
5. Cold lemonade is _______________ than water. (refreshing)
6. The front yard is _______________ than the back yard. (big)
7. This map is _______________ than that one. (good)
8. Spinach is ______________ than Swiss chard. (delicate)
9. His room is _______________ than yours. (tidy)
10. Her report is _______________ than ours. (accurate)
The following examples illustrate the use of the two types of comparative form followed by a noun, followed by than.
e.g. Kirby is a finer musician than Tim.
Kirby is a more confident musician than Tim.
Rubber is a tougher material than leather.
Rubber is a more waterproof material than leather.
She has better tools than we do.
She has more expensive tools than we do.
3. Paying attention to which adjectives form the comparative with the adverb more and which form the comparative with the ending er, rewrite the following sentences as comparisons, in the manner indicated by the examples. Use the words given in brackets as the second parts of the comparisons. For example:
Collies have long hair. (dalmations do)
Collies have longer hair than dalmations do.
He is an experienced architect. (we thought)
He is a more experienced architect than we thought.
1. Terry is a good cook. (I am)
2. That is a complex question. (you realize)
3. My puppy has big feet. (yours does)
4. It was a difficult decision. (you might think)
5. That is a sandy part of the beach. (this is)
6. He runs a successful business. (his father did)
7. Cliff has a bad temper. (his brother does)
8. This rose bush has small flowers. (that one does)
9. They own expensive bicycles. (we do)
10. Robin proved to be a courageous leader. (anyone had expected)
11. The school has a large auditorium. (the city library does)
12. That car has an efficient engine. (this one does)
ii. Progressive comparisons
Like adjectives which take endings, adjectives which form the comparative with the adverb more can be used in progressive comparisons.
In the case of an adjective which takes endings, the comparative form of the adjective is repeated in a progressive comparison. However, in the case of an adjective which forms the comparative with more, only the word more is repeated. This construction is summarized below, followed by examples.
noun, pronoun or
other expression +
such as +
to grow or