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Purpose of this Educational Project:To explain how to use comparatives in English.

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Upon Completion of this Section the Learner will be able to:
  • Understand how to compare two things or people in English.
  • Understand that comparatives have 6 forms.
  • Identify comparative statements.
  • Describe, compare and contrast two items or people.

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Overview and Description of the Problem:

In some languages there is only one word to represent comparative and superlative adjectives. This leads to common errors among English learners. For example, in Portuguese the word 'melhor' can be translated both as 'better' and 'best'.

Watch this movie. You can download the pdf file to read and refer to during the lesson. Pdf file to accompany the video.

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The man is taller than them.
They are shorter than him.

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Key points
Words that describe things are adjectives.Adjectives that compare 2 things are comparatives.

There are Six Ways To Form a Comparative: Words that describe things are adjectives.Adjectives that compare 2 things are comparatives.

Overview Introduction Rules:

  • Adjective + er forms the comparative
  1. Add -er to the adjective. Example: tall --> taller
  2. Ends in 'e', Add -r to the adjective Example: fine --> finer
  3. Ends in 'y', Drop the y and Add -ier to the adjective. Example: early --> Earlier
  4. One syllable short word, Add consonant plus -er Example: hot --> hotter
  5. Irregular (memorize the correct form) Example: good --> better
  6. Multisyllable Adjective place 'more' in front of adjective. Example: beautiful --> more beautiful

Icon activity.jpg True or False
Answer the questions and mark a T for a true statement and an F if it is false.

Look at the man and boy.Tell me about them.

__The man is tall. The boy is short.

Who is taller?

  1. ___The man is taller than the boy.
  2. ___The boy is taller than the man.

Who is shorter?

  1. ___The man is shorter than the boy.
  2. ___The boy is shorter than the man.

How about the SUV and car?

  1. ___The SUV is shorter than the car.
  2. ___The car is shorter than the SUV.

How about summer and winter?

  1. ___Winter is colder than Winter.
  2. ___Summer is colder than summer.

Check your answers with the pdf document that you downloaded.

Icon activity.jpg Fill in the blanks (gaps).
Then sort the adjectives into the correct category according to how the comparative is formed in the chart below.
  1. Today’s weather is ______ (bad) than yesterday’s weather.
  2. Today’s weather is ______ (good) than yesterday’s weather.
  3. The car is ___ (new) than the SUV.
  4. The car is ___ than the SUV.
  5. The car is ___ than the SUV.
  6. The car is ___ than the SUV.
  7. The car is ___ than the SUV.


  • Today’s weather is worse than yesterday’s weather.
  • Today’s weather is beter than yesterday’s weather.
  • The car is newer than the SUV.
  • The car is older than the SUV.
  • The car is cleaner than the SUV.
  • The car is faster than the SUV.
  • The car is more expensive than the SUV.

Next classify the words below in the correct column in the table beneath them.



Put the adjectives in the correct column in the table.



adj + er adj + r adj + ier double consonant + r irregular more + adj
cleaner nicer busier bigger worse intelligent
taller finer earlier sadder better expensive
cheaper larger heavier hotter populated
older riper thinner beautiful
longer childish

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Self Assessment

Test Your Skill
  1. What did we add to the adjective ‘cold’ to make the comparative?
  2. What do we have to add to ‘hot’ to make the comparative?
  3. Give an example of when we have to double the consonant.
  4. Why do you only add an 'r' and not 'er' to some words?
  5. What happens when the adjective ends in y?
  6. Can you name an irregular comparative?
  7. What is the comparative of good? Can we say gooder?
  8. How about badder? Can we say 'badder'?
  9. And how about this one? Can we say expensiver?
  10. Do we say beautifuler or more beautiful?
  • BONUS: If you were critically ill (very very sick), would you prefer a doctor who has practiced medicine for 30 years or just 10 years? Answer this question in five diFferent sentences, making comparatives using five of the following words:
1. Qualified 2. Handy 3. Competent 4. Savvy 5. Experienced 6. Nearby 7. Compassionate 8. Skilled 9. Cheap 10. Famous  

I would prefer __________________________________________________________________________________________________.

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This educational module has introduced comparative adjectives, explained how to build them, and provided examples of each of the six types. There are also a number of online resources about comparatives, which you should consult to further your knowledge.


The author is indebted to for inspiring the layout of this page. The author is also indebted to for its templates.