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Comparative Adjectives

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When we want to compare two things we use comparative adjectives. For example:

'Canada is colder than America.'
'Tokyo is more expensive than Barcelona.'
'Barcelona is less expensive than Tokyo.'

How to make comparative adjectives

Do you know how to make comparative adjectives? Here you will find the rules that you need to know:

The key to making comparative adjectives is counting the syllables in the word. Every word is made up of units of speech, usually containing vowel sounds.

Use -er for one-syllable words

For one-syllable words we add -er to the adjective to make it a comparative. The following are all one syllable adjectives:

Small becomes smaller
Cheap becomes cheaper
Quick becomes quicker

Use more / less for two+ syllable words

Adjectives with two or more syllables take more / less:

Beautiful becomes more beautiful
Sensitive becomes more sensitive
Dangerous becomes more dangerous

Note - If the adjective ends in a consonant-vowel-consonant combination (CVC), double the final consonant before adding –er:

Big becomes bigger
Hot becomes hotter
Wet becomes wetter

Use -ier for adjectives ending with y

For most adjectives that end with a y we change the y to i and add er:

Dirty becomes dirtier
Smelly becomes smellier
Ugly becomes uglier

Some adjectives take both forms

Some two-syllable adjectives can take either -er or more:

Simple becomes simpler or more simple
Narrow becomes narrower or more narrow
Quiet becomes quieter or more quiet

Irregular forms

Some adjectives don't follow any of the above rules. Here are some of the most common irregular forms:

good becomes better
bad becomes worse
far becomes farther

Link: -ed and -ing adjectives to describe feelings and things

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  • 'Long' becomes:

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