Making comparisons with the…the…

We use the structure the…the… to say that things change together.

Both clauses have the following word order: the + comparative expression + subject + verb

Study the sentences given below.

  • They fought many wars. They could solve very few problems.

We can express this idea using the…the…

  • The more wars they fought, the fewer problems they solved. (NOT The more wars they fought, they solved fewer problems.)

Note the pattern: the comparative expression goes at the beginning of both clauses.

Another example is given below.

  • When I get older, I become happier.

The same idea can be expressed using the…the…

  • The older I get, the happier I become.
  • When we go higher, it gets colder.
  • The higher we go, the colder it gets.
  • They argued more and became angrier.
  • The more they argued, the angrier they became.
  • If you study more, you will learn less.
  • The more I study, the less I learn.

Exercise

Read the following sentences and express the ideas using the…the…

1. When he makes more money, he buys more useless things.

2. If it is dangerous, he likes it even more.

3. As more information comes in, the picture becomes more confused.

4. If you do not carry so much luggage, you will have a happy journey.

5. If the car is big, the price is high.

6. If you practice your steps, they will become easier.

Answers

1. The more money he makes, the more useless things he buys.

2. The more dangerous it is, the more he likes it.

3. The more information comes in, the more confused the picture becomes.

4. The less luggage you carry, the happier the journey.

5. The bigger the car, the higher the price.

6. The more you practice your steps, the easier they become.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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