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Formation of Comparative Adjectives

There are two ways to make or form a comparative adjective:

  • short adjectives: add "-er"
  • long adjectives: use "more"
Short adjectives
  • 1-syllable adjectives
old, fast
  • 2-syllable adjectives ending in -y
happy, easy
Normal rule: add "-er" old → older
Variation: if the adjective ends in -e, just add -r late → later
Variation: if the adjective ends in consonant, vowel, consonant, double the last consonant big → bigger
Variation: if the adjective ends in -y, change the y to i happy → happier
Long adjectives
  • 2-syllable adjectives not ending in -y
modern, pleasant
  • all adjectives of 3 or more syllables
expensive, intellectual
Normal rule: use "more" modern → more modern
expensive → more expensive
With some 2-syllable adjectives, we can use '-er' or 'more':
  • quiet → quieter/more quiet
  • clever → cleverer/more clever
  • narrow → narrower/more narrow
  • simple → simpler/more simple

The following adjectives have irregular forms:

  • good → better
  • well (healthy) → better
  • bad → worse
  • far → farther/further

Use of Comparative Adjectives »

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