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Grammar 35 - Comparatives
"Ice cream tastes better than milk." - This is a comparative sentence.

Grammar 35 - Comparatives

Often we face situations in which we want to compare things using gradable expressions. What are the words we can use to help us? They are called comparatives. This is the first of six High English grammar quizzes that focus on comparatives. Let's start with some examples:

‘Trupti is MORE BEAUTIFUL than Arpana.’
‘Arpana is not AS BEAUTIFUL AS Trupti.’
‘Arpana is CLEVERER than Trupti.’
'Arpana dances MORE GRACEFULLY than Trupti.’

In all these sentences we notice that a comparison is made between two girls. The words in capitals are the words that tell us about the comparison. We also notice that both adjectives (beautiful, clever) and adverbs (gracefully) are used to show the comparison. Such words are known as COMPARATIVES and they are used as gradable expressions to compare.

We also note another difference in the use of these words. In the ‘beautiful’ example we have used ‘more’ before the adjective and in the ‘cleverer’ example we have added -ER to CLEVER to form the word CLEVERER.

As with all parts of grammar, there is a correct way of using comparatives. Generally, we add ER for adjectives and adverbs which do not end in 'E', (tall-tallER), R for adjectives and adverbs which do end in 'E' (simple-simpleR, late-lateR) and IER for adjectives and adverbs ending with Y (dry-drIER). As is the case in English, we do have irregular forms for which we do not have a general rule (good-BETTER, bad-WORSE).

Gradable expressions, or comparisons, are required to compare attributes such as size, shape, weight, feelings, actions, intensity, quantity and quality. Comparisons are required to show how different one is from another. Comparisons are required to express choices. Comparisons are required to express attitudes and assumptions. English is a very expressive language and it is made more expressive by the use of comparatives and the following quiz on English grammar gives you an overview of how to use comparatives in sentences.

1.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
The Boeing 747 is a more expense aircraft than the 737.
The Boeing 747 is a more expensive aircraft than the 737.
The Boeing 747 is an expensiver aircraft than the 737.
The Boeing 747 is an expensivier aircraft than the 737.
Here we have used 'more expensive,' which is the comparative form to compare the price of two types of aircraft. Note that 'expensive' is a word but 'expensiver' is not so we have used 'more' instead of '-ER'. In option 1 the word 'expense' is a noun and not an adjective or adverb. In options 3 and 4, 'expensiver' and 'expensivier' are not real words
2.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
Virat Kohli's bat is not as heavy as Chris Gayle's.
Virat Kohli's bat is not as heavier as Chris Gayle's.
Virat Kohli's bat is not heavy as Chris Gayle's.
Virat Kohli's bat is not heavyer as Chris Gayle's.
Here, we have used the 'as...as' comparative form. Note that 'heavy' is an adjective. Note also that by adding 'not' we have used the comparative in negative form. The same sentence could have been written in the positive form as 'Chris Gayle's bat is heavier than Virat Kohli's.' In option 2 both 'as...as' and 'heavier' are used, which is incorrect. In option 3 the first ‘as’ is missing. In option 4 'heavyer' is an incorrect comparative form of 'heavy'
3.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
Ajinkya Rahane is happy than he used to be.
Ajinkya Rahane is more happier than he used to be.
Ajinkya Rahane is happier than he used to be.
Ajinkya Rahane is happyer than he used to be.
Here we have used 'happier,' which is the comparative form to express comparison of Ajinkya Rahane's state of happiness before and now. In option 1 the word 'more' is missing. In option 2 both 'more' and 'happier' are used, which is incorrect. In option 4 'happyer' is incorrect form of comparative for a word ending in 'y'
4.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
Your car is more faster but mine is more fuel efficient.
Your car is faster but mine is fuel efficienter.
Your car is fastier but mine is more fuel efficient.
Your car is faster but mine is more fuel efficient.
Here we have used two comparatives (faster, more fuel efficient). Since 'efficienter' is not a word we use 'more' rather than '-ER'. In option 1 'more faster' is an incorrect use of comparative. In option 2 'efficienter' is an incorrect use of comparative. In option 3 'fastier' is an incorrect use of comparative
5.
Choose the sentence that uses the INCORRECT form of comparative expression from the following.
She's a fast driver than me.
She drives faster than me.
She drives slower than me.
She's a faster driver than me.
This sentence is incorrect because it does not use the comparative form of 'fast.' In options 2 and 3 the comparative forms of 'fast' and 'slow' are 'faster' and 'slower.' Note that in these sentences 'fast' and 'slow' are used as adverbs. In option 4 the word 'fast' is used as an adjective and the comparative form is 'faster'
6.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
Life in a small town is more bad than in a large town.
Life in a small town is worse than in a large town.
Life in a small town is badder than in a large town.
Life in a small town is more badder than in a large town.
Here we have used 'worse', which is the comparative form of 'bad' and this is an irregular comparative. The other options use incorrect forms of comparatives
7.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
Ice cream tastes weller than milk.
Ice cream tastes more well than milk.
Ice cream tastes more better than milk.
Ice cream tastes better than milk.
Here we have used 'better', which is the comparative form of 'well' and this is an irregular comparative. The other options use incorrect forms of comparatives
8.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
I cannot read quicklyer than my brother.
I cannot read as quicker as my brother.
I cannot read as quickly as my brother.
I cannot read quicklier than my brother.
Here, we have used the 'as...as' comparative form. Note that 'quickly' is an adverb. Note also that by adding 'not' we have used the comparative in negative form. In options 1 and 4 the words used ('quicklyer' and 'quicklier') do not exist. In option 2 both 'as...as' and 'quicker' are used, which is incorrect
9.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
The alphonso mangoes are sweeter than the malgobas.
The alphonso mangoes are sweet than the malgobas.
The alphonso mangoes are more sweeter than the malgobas.
The alphonso mangoes are sweetier than the malgobas.
Here we have used 'sweeter,' which is the comparative form of 'sweet' to compare the quality of two types of mangoes. In option 2 the comparative word is missing. In option 3 the word 'more' is used with '-ER' which is wrong. In option 4 the word 'sweetier' is an incorrect comparative as this form is used for words ending in 'y'
10.
Choose the sentence that uses the correct form of comparative expression from the following.
Today's story is not better as the one you filed in yesterday.
Today's story is not better the one you filed in yesterday.
Today's story is not as better as the one you filed in yesterday.
Today's story is not as good as the one you filed in yesterday.
Here we have used the 'as...as' form for making the comparison. Remember, comparatives can be used to compare two events that happened at different points in time. In option 1, when the 'better' form is used 'than' has to be used in place of 'as'. In option 2, when the 'better' form is used 'than' has to be used. In option 3 both 'better' and 'as' are used, which is incorrect in the context of the sentence
Author:  V T Narendra

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