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Everything You Need to Know About Comparative Adjectives

3 min read
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21 April, 2020
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In English, adjectives are used to describe things. We use comparative adjectives to compare and contrast things that we want to describe. There is a system for creating comparative adjectives. Using this system will help you write and speak more clearly, and will make you a better English speaker! If you're still learning English, take the time to study this lesson, because it will definitely come in handy!

 

Comparative Adjectives is a great lesson for two reasons. Number one: it's a topic a lot of students make mistakes with, but it's very easy to fix - the rules are simple if you just stick to them. Number two: it'll make you sound much more like a native speaker if you can use the rules effectively. 

Matt, teacher from San Diego 

 

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One Syllable Comparative Adjectives

 

Add -er to end of an adjective:

tall/taller

Audio file

smart/smarter

Audio file

If the word ends in -e, just add an -r:

late/later

large/larger

 

If the word is one-syllable, ends in a single consonant and has a single vowel before it, double the last consonant and add -er:
big/bigger

hot/hotter

thin/thinner

 

See our teacher Matt from San Diego explain how it all works: 

 

Take a look at how our teacher Matt, explains comparative adjectives:

How to use comparative adjectives

 

Two, Three or More Syllable Comparative Adjectives

For most two-syllable adjectives, add "more" before the adjective to form the comparative:
careful/more careful

prepared/more prepared

 

If the word ends in -y, remove it and add -ier:
angry/angrier

shiny/shinier

 

If the word ends in -e, add -r:

gentle/gentler

simple/simpler

 

If the word ends -ow; add -er:
narrow/narrower

 

Exceptions

Of course, with any rule in English, there are exceptions.

Irregular AdjectiveComparative Form
goodbetter
badworse
farfarther
littleless
manymore

 

There are some adjectives that can be used both with 'more' and with 'er'

Two-Syllable AdjectiveComparative Form 'er'Comparative Form 'more +'
clevercleverermore clever
gentlegentlermore gentle
friendlyfriendliermore friendly
quietquietermore quiet
simplesimplermore simple

 

Once you have mastered comparative adjectives, you'll become more confident when comparing things in English and will get one step closer to sounding like a native speaker! 

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