6 rules for using comparative adjectives. When you are comparing two different things, you need to change the ending of the adjective you use.
Here are some examples:
- Cats are small.
- Cats are smaller than dogs. (comparing cats to dogs)
- Learning grammar is difficult.
- Learning grammar is more difficult than learning vocabulary. (comparing learning grammar to learning vocabulary)
- I have to get up early because I live far from school.
- 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 first 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: With adjectives 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: With adjectives that already end in +e, simply add +r than. For example:
- nice > nicer than
- safe > safer than
- late > later than
Rule 4 of 6: With adjectives with three syllables or more, simply add +more…than. For example:
- intelligent > more intelligent than
- beautiful > more beautiful than
- interesting > more interesting than
Rule 5 of 6: With adjectives with two syllables, there are TWO possible options.
- Some 2-syllable adjectives have +er than (especially adjectives that end in -y, -le, and -er)
- happy > happier than
- bright > brighter than
- Some 2-syllable adjectives have more… than
- honest > more honest than
- modern > more modern than
- Other 2 syllable adjectives can use either of these options
- clever > more clever than OR cleverer than
- gentle > more gentle than OR gentler 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)
Now test your skills with a quick test. Click the link in the table below.