the + comparative adjective

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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the + comparative adjective

Post by Hela » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:47 pm

Good evening, Alan

Could you please tell me when it is possible to use the definite article "the" with the comparative and not the superlative ? Like "the closer" instead of "the closest" ?
I'm not referring to the parallel structures like "the sooner, the better".

Would you please give me examples ?
Thank you in advance.

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Re: the + comparative adjective

Post by Alan » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:32 am

When you say 'of the two' after the comparative form, then the article is required, e.g.

Peter and John are both tall, but Peter is the taller of the two.

If the phrase is merely implied, the article can be omitted, but would still, in careful usage, be included.