Comparative adjectives are used to compare two or more things. They may be expressed as being greater, lesser, or equal. As you may remember from your school days, comparative adjectives can be either regular or irregular.
All adjectives ending in -er, such as taller, bigger, and smaller, are defined as REGULAR, and are structured using the “pure” adjective, and simply adding -er. This applies in the case of words with two syllables, as well as words with one syllable (e.g. big–>bigger). Or for words ending in y, the y is changed to i (e.g. happy–>happier). The comparative adjective then must be followed by the adverb THAN, to establish the basis for comparison. For any adjective with more than two syllables, you simply add MORE or LESS before the adjective. For a complete overview of all the comparative adjectives in English, have a look at this page, which you’ll very interesting and well-written.
Where to practice comparative adjectives online
Here are some free tools you can use online to help gain a deeper understanding of English comparative adjectives; these sites’ primary language is Italian, so they should be easy to understand:
1. English Gratis – a website with loads of grammar lessons and exercises that will help you finally find your way through the maze of bigger, taller, etc. . .
2. Corso Inglese – brings you directly to a series of exercises where you’ll get clarification about the correct use of comparative adjectives.
3. Tutto Inglese – never-ending comparatives! This site has loads of helpful exercises.
4. Informarsi – plenty of examples and exercises covering simple adjectives, as well as comparatives and superlatives, providing a great overview!
5. NSpeak – practice exercises with solutions and hints included.
Here are some more sites, but these are written all in English. They may be tougher to read but the added challenge is certainly a good way to help improve your language skills:
1. English Adjectives – website in English with a variety of exercises about comparative adjectives, with solutions provided.
2. English Exercises– have fun while you learn through this colourful and entertaining site.
3. Oxford University – exercises offered directly through Oxford University to help you perfect your use of comparative adjectives.
Tools for learning comparative adjectives offline
To become really well-versed on the subject, a great English grammar textbook could very well be the best way to go. Take your pick from one of these:
Activating Grammar – with online support and a CD-ROM, this is will be a handy tool that you can read, review, and reference at any time.
English Grammar for Use – with material divided by topic, each section is followed by helpful learning exercises. It’s the ideal textbook for an intermediate level.