We often use comparisons because we
want to talk about the differences
between people, places, and things.
Here is an example:
3. Janet’s house is bigger
4. Tom’s house is a lot
smaller than Janet’s.
3. Janet’s house is fancier
and more elaborate
than Tom’s house.
The comparative forms from the
previous example are:
-more elaborate than
So . . . When do we use “–er”
and when do we use “more?”
How many syllables are the words: “ big” and “ small ?”
For 1-syllable adjectives,
JUST add “er” to the end.
Example: Tom is smarter than Joe.
*If the 1-syllable adjective ends with the letter “e,”
JUST add “r” to the end.
Examples: nicer wiser
**If the 1-syllable adjective has a C-V-C pattern,
Double the consonant and add “er .”
Examples: San Francisco is wetter than San
For adjectives that end with the letter “y,”
DROP the “y” and add “ier .”
Adjective = fancy Janet’s house is fancier than
Adjective = pretty Janet’s house is prettier than
Adjective = friendly Alison is friendlier than
How many syllables is the word: elaborate ? 4
(more than 1)
For adjectives that are 2 or more syllables,
use “ more” + the adjective to make the
Adjective = elaborate
Janet’s house is more elaborate than Tom’s.
Adjective = comfortable
This chair is more comfortable than that chair.
You MUST memorize these!
good = better than far = farther (further) than
bad = worse than
Adjective = good
Sara’s grades are better than Michael’s.
Never use both MORE and “ER!”
Lisa’s job is more better than
Lisa’s job is better than mine.
Using “less than”
Sometimes we compare two things by using “less
To do this, use LESS + adjective + THAN
When using “less than,” the adjective DOES NOT CHANGE
He is LESS energetic than my other teacher.
This class is LESS crowded than the other one.
New York City is LESS polluted than Los Angeles.
Rule . . .
1. Adjectives with one old older than
syllable: big bigger than
add “er” cheap cheaper than
2. Adjectives that end friendly friendlier than
in “Y”: busy busier than
drop “Y”, add “ier” easy easier than
3. Adjectives with two or polite more polite than
more syllables: beautiful more beautiful than
use “more” important more important than
4. Irregular forms: good better than
(memorize) bad worse than
far farther/further than
5. Less Than quiet less quiet than
crowded less crowded than
There are a few exceptions with comparative
grammar . . .
These are adjectives that don’t follow the basic
rules or that have more than one acceptable
form. To learn these, you must memorize them.
•“fun” We say: more fun funner
2. “simple” We say: more simple OR
3. “narrow” We say: more narrow
4. “quiet” We say: more quiet OR quieter
Try these examples. Use the comparative form.
4. I think Social Studies is _________________
(interesting) than Math.
2. San Diego is a _____________ (pretty) city than
3. A dog is usually _______________ (friendly) than
4. It is _____________ (hot) today than it was
5. My cousin is ______________ (rich) than I am.
For Additional Explanation and Practice, go to
1. Comparative / Superlative Explanation and
2. Comparatives Challenge Board Game:
If you do these exercises,