English Grammar Step by Step
UNIT 18 - Page 2
COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE SENTENCES
Complete the gaps provided as appropriate, using the words
given in brackets.
She’s less deaf than her husband.
She isn’t so/as deaf as her husband.
The above sentences mean the same.
a They study (hard) __________ my niece.
b They don’t study (hard) __________ my niece.
c His nephew doesn’t speak French (fluently) __________ his
d His nephew speaks French (fluently) __________ his cousin.
e She’s not (crazy) __________ you.
12 Examples: (In this section, you have to finish the sentences
I do not go out as much as he does.
I don’t go out as much as him.
She told me more lies than they did.
She told me more lies than them.
He is shorter than we are.
He is shorter than us.
In a formal context, we use personal subject pronouns (I, you,
he, she, it, we, you and they) + a verb after as or than. In
this case, as and than are conjunctions. In an informal style,
we can convert them into prepositions by using personal
object pronouns (me, you, him, her, it, us, you and them).
a If he is very fat and she is very thin, then we say that he
b They’re very efficient, but she isn’t. Therefore, they’re
c He writes Italian perfectly, but they don’t. Consequently,
they don’t write Italian __________.
d We swim very well, but you don’t swim __________.
e I’m certain of what has happened, but you aren’t. As a result,
you aren’t __________.
13 Revision exercise.
a Can you walk (slowly) __________, please? I can’t keep up
b I ought to have taken her (seriously) __________, but I
thought she was pulling my leg.
c He believes that we should have (stiff regulations) __________
so as to avoid juvenile delinquency.
d He’s a very skilful person, but she isn’t. Therefore, she
isn’t (skilful) __________.
e If her doctor had examined her (carefully) __________, he
would have noticed that she had a terrible illness.
f She’s got a poor health, and her husband is very healthy. Then
we say that he’s __________.
g They don’t like driving __________. (He loves it, but they
h The air in a small town isn’t (heavily polluted) __________
the air in a big city.
i Dogs are (faithful animals) __________ to man. They would even
give their lives for us.
j Cats are not (loyal) __________ dogs.
k This is (vicious dog) __________ I have come across for years.
l I wish we had (possessions) __________ the Blakes; we are very
poor and they have everything: money, a lot of properties, and
many other things.
m We won’t get (wheat this year) __________ we did last year.
n You’re (bad student) __________ the class. Either you study
(hard) __________ or you’ll fail all your subjects.
o She was very unkind to her customers. She should have been
(kind) __________ to them.
p This is (fierce dog) __________ I’ve had for years.
q Winter is (cold season) __________ the year.
r His beliefs are (conservative) __________ yours. He’s very
liberal, but you aren’t.
s You’re (lucky person) __________ earth. I’ve never met such a
t That was (sensible thing to do) __________. You did
(appropriate thing) __________. If you’d done a different
thing, you’d have got into trouble.
u She’s (sensitive person) __________ the family. Nobody in the
family upsets (easily) __________ her.
v You’ve played the music (loud) __________. Why have you turned
the volume up?
w Anna’s very fit and healthy. The other four girls look sickly.
As a matter of fact, they have been off sick quite a lot
recently. That is why we think Anna’s (fit and healthy)
__________ the five girls.
x He can’t resist severe pain __________ you. When he feels any
discomfort, he thinks he’s going to kick the bucket.
y The Beatles was one of (famous bands) __________ the sixties.
z This stew tastes (nasty) __________ that one. What the hell
did you put in it?
Young Brown is getting taller and taller.
More and more people kept coming to the demostration.
We use the double comparative to indicate that something or
someone is growing, decreasing, changing, etc., continuously.
a He’s growing (rich) __________.
b He comes here (often) __________. I think young Nicola has
something to do with it.
c My daughter is becoming (pretty) __________.
d My hair is getting (dark) __________.
e Catalonia is getting (tourists) __________ all the year round.
The harder you study, the better results at school you’ll
The more you earn, the more money you’ll have to buy a house.
The + a comparative ... the + a comparative links two
actions: the second one being the result of the first one.
a (you smoke) __________, (unhealthy you become) __________.
b (early you get up) __________, (time you’ll have to get to
the station), __________.
c (little you work) __________, (little you earn) __________.
d (old I get) __________, (little I like going out) __________.
e (you eat) __________, (fat you become) __________.
It’s a bit more tiring if you do it this way.
I feel a lot happier now than I did yesterday.
He feels much worse today.
A bit, a little (bit), a lot, any, far, lots, nearly, no,
rather, somewhat and (very) much may modify comparative
adjectives or adverbs; far and much, more + an uncountable
noun; far and many, more + a plural noun:
There is much/far more wine in the cellar now than (there
was) last year.
There are many/far more thieves in this city today than
(there were) in the past.
a We’re a lot (tough) __________ they think.
b He’s much (rough) __________ you told me. I don’t like him.
c He’s no (old) __________ me.
d My girl-friend is rather (young) __________ I am. She’s
twenty-five and I’m thirty-five.
e This mathematical problem is somewhat (difficult) __________
the one I solved yesterday.
This bedside table is the cheaper of the two.
This box file is the biggest of the three.
The + a comparative form is preferred to the superlative one
when we are dealing with two people or things. In an informal
context, however, the superlative often replaces the
comparative: This night table is the prettiest of the two.
a ‘We’ve got two types of wing mirrors. Which one would you
‘I want (good) __________ one.’
b ‘Which of these three pillows would you like to take?’
‘(small) __________ of them.’
c ‘Which of these two suits shall I wear to the party?’
‘Put on (informal) __________.’
d It’s very difficult to decide which of the two arguments is
e I’ve got two cars, but I generally use (new) __________,
because it’s (economical) __________.
(The) same for me, please!
You always meet the same people in the pub.
I like the same boy as my sister.
I love the same boy that my sister does.
He ordered the same as his friend (did).
He bought the same drink (that) she did the previous day.
The same dog that attacked me yesterday chased a little girl
an hour ago.
The same can be used alone, as in the first and second
examples above, or with as, as in the third and fifth
sentences. Note, however, the following structures:
the same + a noun (that) + a subject + a verb (instances 4
and 6), and the same + a noun + that + a verb (example 7).
If the verb is not mentioned that is not possible (sentence
3). Still, instead of that, it is usually possible to use as:
I love the same boy as my sister does, unless that is a
relative pronoun (7). We cannot therefore say The same dog
as attacked me yesterday chased a little girl an hour ago.
a She always makes (same mistakes) __________ over and over
b He always does (same things) __________ his brother.
c He likes sitting in (same rocking chair) __________ his wife
did when she was alive.
d (very same year) __________ I was born in my father
e ‘(same again) __________!’
‘Waiter! ... Two pints, please!’
19 Revision exercise.
a They have won (few prizes) __________ she has. She is a (good
sportswoman) __________ they are. In fact, she is one of
(good) __________ town.
b Let’s have lunch at that restaurant. It’s just (good)
__________ the one we went yesterday, and it’s (cheap)
c She’s by far (good writer) __________ the four.
d My father has been smoking (same pipe) __________ for over
e It’s very difficult to tell which of the two novelist is
f The place I spent the night yesterday was even (gloomy)
__________ this guest-house.
g She’s much (shabby beggar) __________ the area.
h This grammar exercise is a little bit (difficult) __________,
but I’m sure you can cope with it very well.
i She’s got far and away (colourful garden) __________ the whole
j We had much (barley this season) __________ last season.
k Our foster daughter isn’t (bright) __________ our own son, but
she’s (affectionate) __________.
l Our foster daughter is (bright) __________ our own son, but
she’s (thoughtful) __________.
m He’s been growing (spiteful) __________ and __________ since
he had to join the army.
n In recent times, people live (well) __________ formerly.
o They don’t love her __________ he does. He worships the ground
she walks on.
p You’ve got a large number of admirers, but I haven’t got
q We shared (same shelter) __________ the other refugees.
r As the night went on, she was getting (frightened) __________
s (you spend) __________, (little money you have) __________.
t If you didn’t smoke so much, the air in this room wouldn’t be
(stuffy and smoky) __________ it is.
u (same curiosity) __________ brought him to success ruined his
v (lies you tell) __________, (little people will believe you)
w It’s (hair-raising story) __________ I’ve ever heard.
x She’s (careless person) __________ I know.
y He needs (affection) __________ any other person in the world.
z We want to do (far research) __________ on the effect of this
See unit 10, section 7.
This change from a conjunction to a preposition may lead to
She loves him more than me.
She loves him more than I do.
In the second sentence, there is no ambiguity; but, in the
first instance, there is, since it could mean ‘She loves
him more than she loves me or She loves him more than I
love him’. Strictly speaking, the first example should
mean ‘She loves him more than (she loves) me, because
than should be a conjunction. All the same, in modern
English, than is very often used as a preposition, which
is why ambiguity could arise here.
See also unit 14, section 26.
These words can modify too as well: You’re running much too
quickly. For further information about too, see unit 17.
In this case, we can omit the informally.
Notice the following as well: This is the same man that/who
caught me red-handed.
Observe the usage of by far (here), much (exercise g) and
far and away (i).
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)