She is older than he is. She is the oldest.
He is more courageous than she is. He is the
The comparative compares this/ these to that/ those
by using -ER or MORE.
A comparative is followed by THAN.
The superlative compares one part of a whole group
to all the rest of the group by using -EST or MOST.
A superlative begins with THE.
2- Comparative & superlative forms
of adjectives & adverbs:
… -ER than / The …EST
… MORE … than / The MOST …
For an adjective that end in –y, we use: –ER/ -EST
Some two-syllable adjectives use –ER/-EST or MORE/MOST
Able, angry, clever, friendly, common, cruel, gentle, handsome,
narrow, pleasant, polite, quiet, simple, sour, obscure, stupid.
Three or more syllables (long adjectives):
… MORE / MOST …
They have irregular forms.
Good: better the best
Bad: worse, the worst
Little: less than, the least
Far: farther, the farthest
-Ly adverbs: … MORE / MOST.
Except early: earlier/ the earliest
One syllable (Do not end in -ly): … -ER / -EST
As: Fast, hard, soon, close
They have irregular forms.
Well: better, the best
Badly: worse, the worst
Far: farther/further, the farthest/the furthest
Farther/farthest: for physical distance & information
Further/furthest: for information (additional) only.
Early is both an adjective and an adverb.
She is younger than her sister is.
She is younger than her sister.(Very informal)
She is younger than she is.
She is younger than she.(Very informal)
She is younger than her. (Very informal)
A subject and a verb may follow than, but
The verb may sometimes be omitted.
In formal English, a subject pronoun follows than.
Sometimes, in (spoken) informal English, a object pronoun
She works better than he does.
She drew clearer than they did.
She speaks clearer than he speaks.
He can swim than she can.
He can swim than she can swim.
Frequently, only an auxiliary verb follows the
subject after than, but main verb may be repeated.
His car is older than Frank’s.
His car is older than his.
A possessive may follow than.
Much – a lot – far - a little – a little bit.
She is much / far / a lot younger than he is.
He travels much/ a lot / far more frequently than he used to.
He is a little friendlier than she is (her).
She drives less carefully than he does.
Very modifies adjectives and adverbs. But Very is not used to modify
comparative adjectives and adverbs. Instead, they are modified by:
Much, far or a lot.
4-Using MORE with nouns:
They needed some more friends.
He found tree dimes in his pocket. He expected
find more coins.
More before a noun expresses: additional (It is
not necessary to use than).
They have seen more birds than stars in the sky.
We use than to make complete comparisons by using than.
Here some bread. Would you like some more?
I am full. I can’t eat any more.
When the meaning is clear, the noun may be omitted,
and more used by itself.
5- Using less and fewer:
The tank in the car contains less gas.
Less is the comparative form of little. It is used
with noncount nouns.
If you want to know, learn more.
The noun may be omitted if the meaning is clear.
She expected fewer people to come over.
Fewer is the comparative of few. It is used with count nouns.
Less students is informal.
Less is also used with adjectives and adverbs.
This book is less expensive than that one.
This book is less cheap than that one: This sentence is not correct.
This book is not as cheap as that one.
The opposite of -er is: not as … as
The opposite of more is: less
Less is not used with one-syllable adjectives.
Instead not as … as is used.
6- Understood and unclear Comparisons:
Do you like reading?
Yes, but I like writing better. (Better than reading)
She likes reading, but understanding is more important.
He read the whole pages in the book. He never read a better book.
Often it is not necessary to complete a comparison by
using than if the meaning is clearly understood.
Use this car. It is better (better that what?)
Avoid this. It is more difficult. (More difficult than what?)
The comparisons should be completed.
She understood the story easier than her friend.
She understood the story easier than her friend does.
She understood the story easier than she understood her friend.
Sometimes it is necessary to use both a subject and a verb after
than in order to avoid unclear comparison.
7- Repeating a comparative:
He traveled farther and farther.
His situation became more and more difficult.
Something becomes progressively greater
(It increases in quality, quantity and intensity)
8- Using double comparatives:
The more developed, the more complicated.
The sooner, the better.
The more she learns, the more she knows.
The sooner, the better.
The double comparative has two parts. Both parts begin with:
The. The second part is the result of the first.
9- Using superlatives:
Alaska is the largest state in The United States.
(+ In a place)
He has about seven ideas to figure out the problem. One
of them is the best (idea) of all.
(+ Of all)
He met the person the most interesting he has never seen.
(+ Adjective clause)
There are many modals in the language, but shall is the
least common to use.
(+ Adjective clause)
We use often the superlative in these cases:
- Superlative + in a place.
- Superlative + of all.
- Superlative + adjective clause.
The least has the opposite meaning of the most.
It was the least generous person he has never seen.
Most is used in a superlative sense, so "the" precedes it.
Most has the meaning of “over fifty percent”, so no "the" is used.
The most people of the world live in the poor areas.
Most squirrels live in meadows.
10- Making comparisons with as … as:
She is 32 years old. He is 32.
She is as old as he is.
She is as old as he.(informal)
She is as old as he him (very informal)
She works as quickly as she can.
She calls him as often as she can.
As ... as is used to say that the two parts of a comparison
are equal or the same.
As + adjective + as
As + adverb + as
Not as … as
Also possible: Not so … as
She is not as old as he is.
Common modifiers of as … as:
Just as … as. (Exactly)
Not quite as … as (a small difference)
Not nearly as … as (a big difference)
Nearly/almost as … as
She had just as a lot of problems as he had.
Quite & nearly are often used with the negative.
As + much/many + (noun) + as
He makes as much (money) as he does.
11- Using the same, similar,
different, like & alike:
- 11-1- The same, similar & different:
They had the same ideas.
The two ideas are the same.
She and he had similar cars.
The cars were similar.
Call off and cross out have different meanings.
The meanings are different.
The always precedes same.
The same, similar & different are used as adjectives.
This car is the same as that one. (As)
This car is similar to that one. (To)
This car is different from that one. (From or a clause after)
This car is the same price as that one. (Noun between same and as)
- 11-2- like & alike:
This car is like that one.
This car and that car are alike.
Noun + be like + noun
Noun and noun + be alike.
The woman looks like a girl.
The soup tastes like a soup.
Those cars look alike
They smell alike.
Like follows be. Like follows also some verbs
mainly those dealing with the senses: look,
sound, feel, smell, taste, act, seem.
12- Using Pronouns (one, ones,
that, those) in the
second part of a comparison:
This car is faster than the one we had.
The city is similar to the one we said.
The pronoun one is used instead the noun compared
in the first part of the comparison.
The one is used for singular count nouns.
But that is used for noncount nouns.
This milk is similar to that I drunk before.
For plural nouns, either those or the ones are used.
The ideas we heard are more interesting than those/ the ones
we heard before.
When the pronoun in the second part of the
comparison is followed by a phrase beginning
with of, usually that or those are used, not one or ones.
The life in this town is safer than that of most
cities in the country.