Read about how to use comparatives below. Then, when you are ready, try these comparatives practice exercises.

Making comparisons in English

Julie is shorter than Maria.We use an adjective to describe something. We use a comparative adjective (with than) to compare different things.

Julie is short. (adjective)

Julie is shorter than Maria. (comparative)

There are two main ways to make comparatives: adjective + er or more + adjective.

There are also some irregular adjectives to remember:

good → better, bad → worse, far → further

 

How to make comparative adjectives

adjective + er (short, one-syllable adjectives) 

long → longer, fast → faster

adjective + r (short adjectives ending in -e)

large → larger, nice → nicer 

adjective + consonant + er (short adjectives ending in vowel + consonant)

hot → hotter, big → bigger

adjective  y + ier (adjectives ending in -y) 

pretty → prettier, funny → funnier

more + adjective (long adjectives, with two or more syllables) 

dangerous → more dangerous, interesting → more interesting

However, some words with two syllables can make comparatives with either -er or more. For example:

clever → cleverer / more clever, simple → simpler / more simple

If you aren't sure how to make the comparative of an adjective, check in a good dictionary (I like the online Oxford Learner's dictionary).

Don't forget: we only make one change to the adjective: you can't say more prettier


Comparatives: advanced points

We can use two comparatives together to talk about one situation which causes another situation. Use:

the + comparative + subject + verb, the + comparative + subject + verb

The earlier I wake up, the more tired I feel.


Now test yourself with these comparatives practice exercises.