CAE :: Lesson 18

LOS CURSOS DE INGLES GRATIS PREFERIDOS POR LOS HISPANOHABLANTES

 

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Comparison: modifiers

 

 

 

Let us study the comparatives...

1. MODIFIERS with AS... AS...

We often use the modifiers almost, just, and nearly, and half, twice, three times, etc. with as...as...

a) You can use so instead of the first as in negative sentences, e.g. She's not nearly so difficult as people say.
b) After as...as we can either use a subject pronoun + auxiliary verb, or an object pronoun, e.g. She drives as fast as I do OR She drives as fast as me.

Twice can only be used before as...as NOT  Our new flat is twice bigger-tlian our old one . However three times, four times, etc. can be used with as...as or with a comparative adjective or adverb, e.g. The holiday cost three times more than I'd expected.

1.

My sister's almost as tall as me / almost as tall as I am.

2.

She's just as bossy now as when she was a child.

3.

Their house is nearly as big as yours.

4.

His latest film isn't half as good as his previous one.

5.

Our new flat is twice as big as our old one.

6.

The holiday cost three times as much as I'd expected.

2. MODIFIERS with comparative adjectives or adverbs

We use far, much, or a lot (informal) + comparative adjective or adverb for a big difference:

1.

The French wine is far more expensive than the South African one.
The play was much better than I'd expected.
He's driving a lot more carefully since he got points on his licence.

When we use more + noun for big differences we use much / far / a lot more + an uncountable noun and many / far / a lot more + a plural countable noun.

2.

She earns much more money than I do.
Women today have many more opportunities than they used to.

We use slightly, a little, or a bit (informal) + comparative adjective or adverb for a small difference.

3.

She's a little better than she was yesterday.
The later train is slightly cheaper than the earlier one.
Could you two talk a bit more quietly, please?

When we use more + noun for small differences, we use a little / slightly / a bit more + an uncountable noun and a few / slightly / a bit more + a plural countable noun.

4.

A: Would you like some more coffee? B: Just a little more, please.
We've only got a few more minutes before the show starts.

We sometimes repeat a comparative adjective or adverb for emphasis. When the comparative is formed with more, the adjective / adverb is only used after the second more (NOT It's getting more difficult and more difficult).

5.

The taxi driver drove faster and faster.
It's getting more and more difficult to make ends meet nowadays.

3. MODIFIERS with superlatives

We often use by far / much / easily, and nearly / almost to modify superlative adjectives or adverbs.

1.

It was by far the nicest of all the hotels we stayed at.
She's much the prettiest of the three children.
That was easily the best fish I've had for ages.
I'm nearly the oldest in my class.

4. THE... THE... + comparatives

We can use comparatives with the...the to say that things change or vary together.

a) When the verb in the first part is be, it can be left out, e.g. The more dangerous a sport (is), the more some people seem to be attracted to it.

b) We often use more + noun in this structure, e.g. The more coffee you drink, the less well you sleep.

c) When the second comparative is better, a reduced structure can be used, e.g. the bigger the better, etc. and also in set phrases like the more the merrier.

1.

The more dangerous a sport (is), the more exciting it is to watch.
The bigger the car (is), the more expensive it is to run.
The faster I speak in English, the more mistakes I make.
A: When do you want me to do it? B: The sooner the better.

On the next page you will be able to practise this grammar.

 
 

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