English Grammar Step by Step
COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE SENTENCES
Complete the gaps provided as appropriate, using the words
given in brackets.
1 Examples: (comparatives)
Kim is taller than Linda.
They work harder than you.
His house is bigger than hers.
Her great-grandson is nicer than her great-granddaughter.
Tim’s 19 and his brother, 17, so his brother’s younger.
We add -er to one-syllable adjectives and adverbs. If they end
in -e, only an -r is added. Note also that we double the
consonant when we have the following combination: consonant +
only one vowel + only one consonant. Than must be left out if
the second term of the comparison is not mentioned.
a This car runs (fast) __________ that one.
b Her hair’s (long) __________ yours.
c The air in the country is (pure) __________ the air in the
d It’s (hot this week) __________ last week.
e Your dad’s very weak! Mine’s (strong) __________.
This exam was more difficult than the other.
She comes here more often than her husband.
Instead of -er, we use more with adjectives of three or more
syllables and with adverbs of two or more syllables. An
exception to this rule is the adverb ‘early’: You should have
a This cot is (expensive) __________ the other one.
b Molly’s (intelligent) __________ Agatha.
c He drives (dangerously) __________ his brothers.
d Today the wind is blowing (gently) __________ yesterday.
e You must get up (early) __________.
She’s prettier than her mother.
George is cleverer than Norman.
He’s simpler than I thought.
The street was getting narrower.
My job’s more tiring than yours.
Two-syllable adjectives ending in -y change the y to i when
-er is added. Two-syllable adjectives ending in -er, -le or
-ow can take either -er or more, the former alternative being
more usual. In the second, third and fourth examples above,
we could have used more:
George is more clever than Norman.
He’s more simple than I thought.
The street was getting more narrow.
Still, -er is also possible with a few adjectives not ending
in -y, -er, -le or -ow: They were crueller/more cruel than
you. In this case, it is safer to use more.
a You should make these blocks of stone (hollow) __________.
b She is (shy) __________ she looks.
c He’s (noble) __________ she is.
d I’m (surprised) __________ you.
e This game is (boring) __________ the one you have.
She gave me more than you.
We need more help than you.
They want more of these clementines/They want more of these.
More is used alone or with nouns. Of is required before
pronouns or nouns preceded by a determiner.
a Yes, we’ve got (beer) __________. Would you like some?
b There are (things to do here) __________ there.
c She talks (rubbish) __________ her sister.
d There’s (wine) __________ left in the cellar.
e I’d like to have (this honeydew melon) __________.
5 Revision exercise.
a Her daughter’s (lively) __________ her son.
b She studies (hard) __________ her mate.
c They have lived (happily) __________ ever since they got
d She has a (tender look) __________ his ex.
e Today they’re playing the music (loud) __________ usual.
f The north of the Iberian peninsula is (wet) __________ the south.
g He’s (angry now) __________ this morning.
h He looks (brave) __________ his friend; but, in fact, he isn’t.
i Today is (windy) __________ yesterday.
j He’s (conservative) __________ his colleagues.
k This job seems (stressful) __________ the one you had last
l My daddy’s (tough) __________ yours.
m He feels (depressed now) __________ when I came home two hours
n They appear to be (selfish) __________ they really are.
o This city has a (humid weather) __________ the one I live in.
p You seem (energetic now) __________ when I met you for the
q She’s (charming) __________ her aunt.
r The word ‘get’ is (informal) __________ ‘obtain’.
s This hair makes you look (lovely) __________.
t I think your arguments are (convincing) __________ his. His
don’t hold water.
u You’re very inconsiderate towards your pupils. You should be
(considerate) __________, and think of them.
v You’re a very narrow-minded person. Try to be (broad-minded)
w This piece of land is too small. We need a (large one)
x We need __________ (depilatory cream), as there isn’t enough in
y She gave him __________ he expected.
z This job demands (effort) __________.
6 Examples: (superlatives)
He’s the cleverest person/the most clever person in the class.
He’s the thinnest in his family.
She’s the most beautiful girl (that) I know.
She’s the ugliest of the three.
If we use -er in the comparative, we form the superlative by
adding -est to the adjective or to the adverb. If the
comparative is made with more, the superlative takes most.
Note also the use of the article the. As for the usage of
in and of, in is generally found before words referring to
places (and some others, such as in the family, in the team);
and of, before plurals and a few other words or phrases,
like the longest day of the year. Other prepositions are
sometimes required: She’s the most dangerous criminal on earth.
a They are (poor people) __________ I know.
b This is (easy exam) __________ I have ever done.
c He’s (safe driver) __________ the four.
d You’re (unpredictable person) __________ the whole world.
e This is (fast car) __________ the market.
She’s the best student in the class.
You’re the worst player in the team.
Observe the following irregular forms:
a My (old child) __________ is the oldest of my four children.
b My (old child) __________ is the oldest of my two children.
c Nobody in this town has such a bad reputation. He’s got (bad
reputation) __________ in the whole town.
d If you walk (far) __________, you’ll see an amazing sight.
e I don’t think this matter needs (far discussion) __________.
8 Revision exercise.
a He’s a wealthy person. In fact, he’s one of (rich people)
__________ this city.
b This is (spectacular view) __________ I have ever seen.
c This expression is (commonly heard in informal speech)
__________ that one.
d She told me that the only thing I loved was her money, but
nothing could have been (far) __________ from my mind.
e He’s two years (old) __________ I am.
f She has a lot of influence in this country. Actually, she’s
probably (influential person) __________ the country.
g He’s got three sons. His (old son) __________ lives overseas.
h I am (powerful person) __________ this company, since I am the
i She’s very efficient. In fact, she’s (efficient person)
__________ I know.
j A Macdonalds is (cheap) __________ a formal restaurant.
k Catalonia’s (sunny) __________ the British Isles.
l This sofa is (comfortable) __________ the whole shop; but,
of course, it’s (dear) __________, too.
m A village is (quiet) __________ a big city.
n This is (boring film) __________ I’ve ever seen. I’ve never
seen such a boring film!
o They drank (sherry) __________ I did, which is why they had
to go home to sleep it off.
p The river is (shallow) __________ now because it hasn’t
rained much lately.
q She’s (little talkative) __________ the group. She talks very
r That was (bad mistake) __________ I’d ever made.
s Can you speak a bit (loud and slowly) __________, please? I
can’t hear or understand you.
t If you talked (quietly) __________, the people sitting at the
table opposite wouldn’t overhear our conversation.
u A dog is (noble and faithful) __________ a cat.
v China is (populous country) __________ the world.
w He runs (fast) __________ any other boy in the class. As a
matter of fact, he’s (good runner) __________ the whole school.
x This is (filthy house) __________ I have seen for years and
y Should you need (far details) __________, please do not
hesitate to contact us.
z You should behave (good) __________ at school.
I was as astounded as my wife.
This raincoat isn’t so/as modern as that one.
Is this car as reliable as the other one you have?
As + an adjective or an adverb + as indicates that somebody or
something is equal to somebody or something. In the negative,
we use either so or as, as seen above. So is more formal.
a She’s not (jealous of the baby) __________ her brother.
b They don’t feel (secure) __________ you do.
c My father’s (warm-hearted) __________ my mother.
d Muriel isn’t (noble) __________ Angela.
e You’re (crooked) __________ he is.
She’s bought as many artichokes as you.
She’s got as much butter as you.
Note that if we have a noun we use: as many + a plural noun +
as, or as much + an uncountable noun + as. In the negative,
so can replace the first as:
She hasn’t bought so many artichokes as you.
She hasn’t got so much butter as you.
The noun is sometimes dropped to avoid repetition: I want as
many (sweets) as the others. As much as can also act as an
He doesn’t like beer as much as I do.
My father earns a lot of money, but I earn twice as much (as
a We haven’t got (garden chairs) __________ our neighbours.
b There aren’t (lizards in this area now) __________ there were
twenty years ago.
c They’d like to buy (flour) __________ they did last month.
d We don’t sell (sugar) __________ they do.
e He eats half __________ I do.
However, if the y is preceded by a vowel, the y does not
undergo any change: We need a greyer tone. Two exceptions
to this rule are the monosyllabic adjectives ‘wry’ and
‘shy’: wry→wryer and shy→shyer. The regular forms are
possible too (wrier and shier), but are less usual.
It is worth mentioning that when an adjective ends in -l,
the l is often doubled. See unit 7, part 2.
At times, both prepositions are possible: That was the saddest
day of/in my life.
Bad is an adjective.
Badly is an adverb.
Farther and the farthest are only used of distances: London is
farther/further (away) than Bristol. Further can mean
‘additional’, ‘more’ or ‘extra’: For further information about
this product, phone this number. Further and the furthest may
have abstract or figurative senses: His remarks went even
further than Mr Smith’s, but hers went the furthest of the
Good is an adjective.
Well is an adverb. Well is an adjective when it refers to
Little, less and the least should be used with uncountable
nouns; few, fewer and the fewest, with plural nouns:
The stream carries less water at this time of the year.
I am the person who has the least money.
As it has rained very little over the past few years, there
are fewer brooks in the woods.
We are the country which has the fewest people unemployed in
the whole world.
Note that we use less and the least with singular nouns:
We would like to buy a less expensive car/We would like to
buy a car (which is) less expensive.
This is the least expensive restaurant in the area/This
restaurant is the least expensive in the area.
Elder and the eldest are used to refer to members of a family.
His elder daughter implies that he has two daughters; but his
eldest daughter, that he has at least three daughters. His
elder brother suggests that he has only one brother who is
older than he is; but his eldest brother, that he has two or
more brothers older than he is. Notice as well that elder is
not possible with than: She’s older than his sister. In an
informal context, some people use older and oldest instead of
elder and eldest.
further / farther
the furthest / the farthest
many / much
Author: Miquel Molina i Diez
Pages: 1, 2 and the key
1 Negative and interrogative sentences (Page 2 and the key)
2 Short answers (Page 2 and the key)
3 Question tags (Page 2 and the key)
4 Questions and exclamations (Page 2 and the key)
5 So, neither, nor, either (the key)
6 Be, used to, would, be/get/become used to, dare, have, get, become, grow, go, turn, fall and feel (Page 2 and the key)
7 Verb tenses: forms (Page 2 and the key)
8 Irregular verbs
9 Verb tenses: uses (Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5 and the key)
10 Personal pronouns, possessives and reflexive pronouns (Page 2 and the key)
11 The genitive case (the key)
12 Singular and plural nouns (Page 2 and the key)
13 Gender (the key)
14 A, an, some, any, no, not, none, each, every and the; compounds of some, any, no and every (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
15 Neither, not...either, none, not...any, both and all (the key)
16 A few, few, a lot, lots, a little, little, many, much, no and plenty (the key)
17 Enough, too, so and such (the key)
18 Comparative and superlative sentences (Page 2 and the key)
19 Adjective order (the key)
20 Relative clauses (Page 2 and the key)
21 Do and make (the key)
22 Modal verbs (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
23 Infinitives, gerunds and present participles (Page 2 and the key)
24 Conditional sentences (Page 2 and the key)
25 Passive sentences (the key)
26 Reported speech (Page 2 and the key)
27 Purpose (the key)
28 Word order (the key)
29 Inversion (the key)
30 Connectors (Page 2 and the key)
31 Prepositions (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
32 Phrasal verbs (the key)