Degrees of Comparison | Special structures used for comparing
We use the comparative to compare one person, thing, action or group with another person, thing etc. We use the superlative to compare somebody/something with the whole group that he/she/it belongs to.
Some special structures used for comparing are explained here.
All / any / none the + comparative
In this structure the means 'by as much'.
- The journey was all the more difficult because our car broke down in the middle.
- Her high blood pressure made it all the more important to seek immediate medical attention.
Three / four times + comparative
The structure three / four times + comparative can be used instead of three / four times as much as.
- I can run three times faster than you. (= I can run three times as fast as you.)
- The task was ten times more difficult than I expected. (OR The task was ten times as much difficult as I expected.)
- The journey took four times longer than I had expected. (OR The journey took four times as long as I had expected.)
Note that twice and half cannot be followed by the structure times + comparative. Instead, we use the structures twice as…as and half as…as.
- You are not half as beautiful as you think you are. (NOT You are not half times less beautiful…)
- She is going out with a man twice as old as her.
Pronouns after as and than
In an informal style, object pronouns (me, him, them, her, us) are used after as and than. In a more formal style, subject pronouns (I, he, they, she, we) are used usually with verbs.
- I earn as much as him. (Less formal)
- I earn as much as he does. (More formal)
- She is older than me. (Less formal)
- She is older than I am. (More formal)
In this structure the subject pronoun is unusual if it is not followed by a verb.
Infinitives after superlatives
We often use the infinitive after a superlative. This structure has the same meaning as a relative clause.
- She is the youngest woman ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. (= She is the youngest woman who has ever won the Nobel Peace Prize.)
This structure is also possible after first, last and next.
- Who was the first woman to become the Prime Minister of the UK? (= Who was the first woman who became the Prime Minister of the UK?)
Non-assertive words after superlatives
Non-assertive words like ever, yet and any are not normally used in affirmative clauses. However, they can follow comparatives and superlatives.
- It’s the best book I have ever read.
- This is my hardest job yet.
Sections in this article
The simple present tense
The present progressive tense
The present perfect tense
The present perfect progressive tense
Present tenses to talk about the future
The simple past tense
The past progressive tense
The past perfect tense
The past perfect progressive tense
Past verb forms with present or future meaning
The simple future tense
The future progressive tense
The future perfect tense
Common mistakes in the use of nouns
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 1
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 2
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 3
More CBSE English Grammar worksheetsPassive voice worksheet | Simple past tense
Passive voice worksheet | Past continuous tense
Passive voice worksheet | Simple future tense
Passive voice worksheet | Future perfect tense