Patterns Expressing a Comparison

PATTERNS EXPRESSING A COMPARISON

The topic of this English lesson is comparison. You’ve already learned about the comparison of adjectives, but, in English, we also have some other ways and patterns which are also used to express a comparison. In this English lesson, I will go through some of them and explain how they are used.

How to use patterns expressing a comparison in English

Here are some patterns we use with the comparative form of adjectives.

Patterns expressing comparison

Keep reading and learn MORE TIPS TO IMPROVE your English Grammar.

 Click here for more lessons


Than

 

  • After a comparative you can often use than with a phrase or clause.

New York is bigger than London.

The trip was more expensive than I had expected.

  • A pronoun directly after than has the object form.

They played better than us. No wonder we lost.

o       But if there is a verb after the pronoun, then the pronoun has the subject form.

They played better than we did.

  • You can leave out than and the following phrase or clause if the meaning is clear without it.

The film is good, but the book is much better (than the film).

  • You can use an adverb of degree before a comparative or before than.

Italy is much bigger than Croatia.

 

Less and least

 

  • Less and least are the opposites of more and most.

This task is less complex/more simple than you might think.

It’s the least complex/the most simple explanation of what happened.

  • We use less with both long and short adjectives.

It’s cheaper. It’s less expensive.

It’s more expensive. It’s less cheap.

 

As and so

 

  • We use a positive statement with as…as… to say things are equal.

My brother is as tall as you.

  • You can use as…as… in idiomatic phrases like these.

as hard as iron (=very hard)

as light as a feather (=very light)

  • In a negative statement, you can use either as…as… or so…as…

I don’t drink as/so much wine as you do. (= I drink less wine than you do.)

o       We use as with the second part of the comparison. After as you can use a phrase or clause.

I’ll call you back as quickly as possible.

  • A pronoun directly after as has the object form.

Jack is very tall. My brother is not as tall as him.

o       But if there is a verb after the pronoun, then the pronoun has the subject form.

Jack is very tall. My brother is not as tall as he is.

  •  You can leave out as and the following phrase or clause if the meaning is clear without it.

I liked the old couch. This new one isn’t so comfortable / as comfortable (as the old one).

 

Even + comparative

 

  • You can use even before a comparative.

The new house will be even bigger than the present one.

 

Comparatives with and

 

  • We use this pattern with and to express a continuing change.

The tree grew taller and taller.

The air is getting more and more polluted.

 

Ever + comparative

 

  • The patter ever + comparative also expresses a continuing change.

The tree grew ever taller.

 

Comparatives with the…the…

 

  • We use this pattern with the….the… to say that a change in one thing is linked to a change in another.

The longer the journey (is), the more expensive the ticket (is).

 

Let’s go on to patterns with the superlative form of the adjectives.

 

  • After a superlative we often use a phrase of time or place, an of-phrase, or a relative clause.

Which is the biggest city in the world?

It’s the most wonderful book I’ve ever read.

 

  • We sometimes use a pattern with one of/some of.

The whale is one of the largest animals in the world.

 

Easily / By far + superlative

 

  • You can use easily and by far before a superlative.

This is by far the shortest way to get there.

o       Notice that the stays next to the superlative.

 

  •  You can also make comparisons with same, like, similar, and different.

I’ve got a phone like yours.

 

That’s it! Now you can use both the comparison of adjectives and other ways of expressing comparisons. Have fun! :)