Comparative adjectives


When you are comparing two different adjectives, you need to know the correct form to use.

For example:

Dogs are smaller than horses.

Learning grammar is more difficult than vocabulary.

I have to get up earlier than my classmates because I live far from school.

To understand the rules for using comparative adjectives, you will need to know the meaning of a syllable.

A syllable is a single sound. For example, ‘goodbye’ has two syllables – ‘good’ and ‘bye’.

Here are some more examples:

1 syllable words: hot, cold, dry
2 syllable words: happy, tired
3 syllable words: excited, exhausted

When making comparative adjectives, there are 6 rules you need to remember:

Rule 1 of 6:

With adjectives with one syllable, simply add +er than

For example:


tall > taller than

fast > faster than

high > higher than


Rule 2 of 6:

If the adjective ends in +y, remove the -y and add +ier than

For example:

happy > happier than

angry > angrier than

busy > busier than


Rule 3 of 6:

Adjectives that already end in +e only have +r than added.

For example:

nice > nicer than

safe > safer than

late > later than


Rule 4 of 6:

We add more…than to words with 3 syllables or more.

For example:

intelligent > more intelligent than

beautiful > more beautiful than

interesting > more interesting than


Rule 5 of 6

Some 2 syllable adjectives have +er than and some have more…than. Some 2 syllable adjectives can also be used both ways. NOTE: 2 syllable adjectives that end in -y, -le, and -er often form the comparative by adding +er.

For example:

honest > more honest than

clever > more clever than OR cleverer than

modern > more modern than


Rule 6 of 6:

Adjectives that end with a consonant, then a vowel, then a consonant need the consonant doubled.

For example:

big > bigger than (not biger than)

hot > hotter than (not hoter than)

fat > fatter than (not fater than)



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