6 rules for using comparative adjectives

6 rules for using comparative adjectives6 rules for using comparative adjectives. When you are comparing two different things, you need to change the ending of the adjective you use. Here are some examples:

  • Cats are small.
  • Cats are smaller than dogs. (comparing cats to dogs)
  • Learning grammar is difficult.
  • Learning grammar is more difficult than learning vocabulary. (comparing learning grammar to learning vocabulary)

  • I have to get up early because I live far from school.
  • I have to get up earlier than my classmates because I live far from school.

To understand the rules for using comparative adjectives, you will first need to know the meaning of a syllable. A syllable is a single sound. For example, ‘goodbye’ has two syllables – ‘good’ and ‘bye’. Here are some more examples:

1 syllable words: hot, cold, dry
2 syllable words: happy, tired
3 syllable words: excited, exhausted

When making comparative adjectives, there are 6 rules you need to remember:

Rule 1 of 6: With adjectives with one syllable, simply add +er than. For example:

  • tall > taller than
  • fast > faster than
  • high > higher than

Rule 2 of 6: With adjectives ends in +y, remove the -y and add +ier than. For example:

  • happy > happier than
  • angry > angrier than
  • busy > busier than

Rule 3 of 6: With adjectives that already end in +e, simply add +r than. For example:

  • nice > nicer than
  • safe > safer than
  • late > later than

Rule 4 of 6: With adjectives with three syllables or more, simply add +more…than. For example:

  • intelligent > more intelligent than
  • beautiful > more beautiful than
  • interesting > more interesting than

Rule 5 of 6: With adjectives with two syllables, there are TWO possible options.

  • Some 2-syllable adjectives have +er than (especially adjectives that end in -y, -le, and -er)
    • happy > happier than
    • bright > brighter than
  • Some 2-syllable adjectives have more… than
    • honest > more honest than
    • modern > more modern than
  • Other 2 syllable adjectives can use either of these options
    • clever > more clever than OR cleverer than
    • gentle > more gentle than OR gentler than

Rule 6 of 6: Adjectives that end with a consonant, then a vowel, then a consonant need the consonant doubled. For example:

  • big > bigger than (not biger than)
  • hot > hotter than (not hoter than)
  • fat > fatter than (not fater than)

Now test your skills with a quick test. Click the link in the table below.