People who wonder, what is a comparative adjective, often realize that it is not as difficult to work with these adjectives once they have learned the rules of how to construct them and how they work.
Why not start with an example? Let’s say you have two trees, an oak tree and a maple tree. These trees from our example are of two different heights. If you are curious, you might ask, which tree is taller than the other? In this case, “taller” is a comparative adjective, which makes sense since we are asking to compare two nouns. We would reply, hypothetically, that “The oak tree is taller than the maple tree.”
This means that the oak tree has a greater height than the maple tree. Again, “taller” is the word we are using to compare the trees and their height. Remember that comparative adjectives allow us to compare two things to one another.
No matter how long they are, words that are adjectives all function in the same way. “Tall” has one syllable, for example, but “pretty” has two syllables, and “beautiful” has three, but they all function the same when in their original form. Building comparative adjectives is a more complex process.
The rules might be confusing, but once you get used to the system, you will realize that building comparative adjectives is like second nature. The first step to building a comparative adjective from a regular adjective is thinking about how many syllables the regular adjective has.
There are some exceptions to the basic rules of building a comparative adjective. For example, “quiet” does not end in y and has two syllables, but we still say “quieter” in the comparative adjective form.
If a word ends in the pattern, “consonant – vowel – consonant,” then you follow a special rule when constructing a comparative adjective. Simply double the last consonant, and add –er to the word. This might sound confusing, but when seen in action, it is actually simple to understand. For example, “big” becomes “bigger,” “fat” becomes “fatter,” and “hot” becomes “hotter.”
When you use comparative adjectives, you usually use the word “than” to structure your sentence. For example: “The oak tree is taller than the maple tree.”
To use a comparative adjective in a sentence, you structure your sentence as follows: first, put the subject of the sentence (oak tree), the one that has more of something than the other noun in the comparison you wish to build. Then, use the verb that establishes the comparison (is). Next, put the comparative adjective (taller), followed by the word “than.” Finally, use the second noun (maple tree).
Comparative adjectives are simple: they allow us to use language to describe that one thing has more of something than another noun. In other words, this kind of adjective allows us to compare two things.
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