Comparative Form: Definition & Examples

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Patricia Vineski

Patricia has an MFA in Writing, an MS in Teaching and English Language Arts, and a BA in English.

In this lesson, you'll learn what the comparative form is and how to use the comparative form to make your writing more interesting. Take a look at some examples, and then test your knowledge with a quiz.


We compare people, places, or things every day. We describe actions or words that describe actions every day. We compare people by saying things like, 'Eva is smarter than Brian,' or 'Tom is taller than Heather.' We compare places, by saying things like, 'San Francisco is colder than San Diego,' and things by saying, 'Chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla.' We describe actions by saying things like, 'Sally runs faster than David' and words that describe actions by saying, 'Nancy speaks more clearly than Laura.' We use the comparative form every day.

The comparative form is used to compare two nouns (people, places, or things) or to describe verbs (actions), or other adverbs (words that describe verbs).


Adjectives in the comparative form compare two people, places, or things. For example, in the sentence, 'John is smarter, but Bob is taller,' the comparative forms of the adjectives 'smart' (smarter) and' tall' (taller) are used to compare two people, John and Bob.

Adverbs in the comparative form describe verbs and other adverbs. For example, in the sentence, 'Karen works more efficiently than Ramon,' the comparative form is used to describe the verb 'works' and the adverb 'efficiently.'

For adjectives with one or two syllables and one-syllable adverbs, the comparative is formed by adding the ending '-er' to the word. For example, in the sentence, 'Dustin is shorter, but he can reach higher than Leah can,' because the adjective 'short' is one syllable, and the adverb 'high' is one syllable, the comparative is formed by adding '-er' to form 'shorter' and 'higher.'

For adjectives with more than two syllables and adverbs ending in '-ly,' the comparative is formed by placing the words 'more' or 'less' before the word to show degrees of comparison. For example, in the sentence, 'Jasper is more intelligent, but Marie smiles more beautifully,' because the adjective 'intelligent' has more than two syllables, and the adverb 'beautifully' has more than two syllables, the comparative is formed by placing the word 'more' before both the adjective and the adverb.

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