Comparatives: What They Are and How To Use Them

Do you know what a comparative is? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on comparatives, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What are comparatives?

According to Your Dictionary, comparatives or comparative adjectives are words that describe something by comparing it to something else. For many people, it is easier to describe something in comparison to another item for which someone already has context. One can compare many things, such as the difficulty or something, the weight of something, the speed of something, and more. Almost an adjective or adverb can be compared to something else. However, sometimes these adjectives may be irregular and formed with a helping word like more or have an irregular ending. Many times, this adjective ends in er/ier in the comparative form, like how the superlative forms of superlative adjectives end in est/iest. There are of course irregular comparatives depending on the final consonant spelling. 

  •  Expensive – More (or less) expensive
  •  Dim – Dimmer
  •  Lonely – Lonelier
  •  Rich – Richer
  •  Itchy – Itchier
  •  Risky – Riskier
  •  Bold – Bolder
  •  Happy – Happier
  •  Polite – More (or less) polite
  •  Bad – Worse
  •  Fit – Fitter
  •  Fat – Fatter
  •  Quick – Quicker
  •  Good – Better
  •  Modern – More (or less) modern
  •  High – Higher
  •  Sad – Sadder
  •  Flat – Flatter
  •  Mean – Meaner
  •  Fast – Faster
  •  Light – Lighter
  •  Tired – More (or less) tired
  •  Clever – More (or less) clever
  •  Difficult – More (or less) difficult
  •  Silly – Sillier
  •  Weak – Weaker
  •  Tan – Tanner
  •  Bitter – More (or less) bitter
  •  Pretty – Prettier
  •  Mad – Madder
  •  Important – More (or less) important
  •  Deadly – Deadlier
  •  Nasty – Nastier
  •  Smoky – Smokier
  •  Tasty – Tastier
  •  Beautiful – More (or less) beautiful
  •  Worthy – Worthier
  •  Large – Larger
  •  Odd – Odder
  •  Bright – Brighter
  •  Clumsy – Clumsier
  •  Dull – Duller
  •  Neat – Neater
  •  Soft – Softer
  •  Big – Bigger
  •  Gross – Grosser
  •  Young – Younger
  •  Little – Less*
  •  Calm – Calmer
  •  Dusty – Dustier
  •  Fancy – Fancier
  •  Wealthy – Wealthier
  •  Guilty – Guiltier
  •  Plain – Plainer
  •  Far – Farther (or further)
  •  Interesting – More (or less) interesting

Comparatives also exist in Spanish. These are often formed by using the words más and menos to mean more and less, i.e. la más bien que yo conozco. These can be used for many different words such as pequeños, peor, malo, and so on. According to Collins English Dictionary, the French language has comparatives as well including plus, moins, que, and aussi que. Misused comparatives or double comparatives are often associated with Appalachian English and African American Vernacular English. These comparative markers were even used by Shakespeare in Julius Caesar.

Many different languages also contain words that mean comparatives. You may notice that some of these translations of comparatives look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases in different languages that likely have the same root or language of origin, causing them to sound the same. The below list of translations of comparatives is provided by Word Sense

  •  French: comparatif‎ (masc.)
  •  Italian: comparativo‎ (masc.)
  •  Norwegian: komparativ‎
  •  Portuguese: comparativo‎
  •  Finnish: verrannollinen‎, vertaileva‎
  •  Indonesian: komparatif‎, perbandingan‎
  •  Norman: compathatif‎
  •  Catalan: comparatiu‎
  •  Romanian: comparativ‎
  •  Russian: сравни́тельный‎
  •  Irish: comparáideach‎
  •  Bulgarian: сравнителен‎
  •  Spanish: comparativo‎
  •  Greek: συγκριτικός‎
  •  Persian: تفضیلی‎, تطبیقی‎
  •  Tagalog: hambingin‎

What are examples of comparatives?

comparatives can be used in many different contexts in the English language. Trying to use a word or literary technique in a sentence is one of the best ways to memorize what it is, but you can also try making flashcards or quizzes that test your knowledge. Try using this term of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of examples of comparatives from Your Dictionary, Grammarly and EF that can help get you started incorporating this tool into your everyday use. 

  •  I love that we live much closer to the beach now.
  •  My brother is clumsier than me.
  •  The Pacific Ocean is deeper than the Arctic Ocean.
  •  The Earth is larger than the moon.
  •  I like cats better than dogs.
  •  A pint is less than a quart.
  •  You might be tall, but I am taller.
  •  I ran pretty far yesterday, but I ran even farther today.
  •  This book is more boring than the last one.
  •  My house is larger than hers.
  •  The rock flew higher than the roof.
  •  This sweater is less expensive than that one.
  •  I went farther than my friend when we walked around the park.
  •  You dance better than I do.
  •  Your dog runs faster than Jim’s dog.
  •  This house is more exciting than ever.
  •  You play tennis better than I do.
  •  This box is smaller than the one I lost.
  •  Jim and Jack are both my friends, but I like Jack better.
  •  My new car is a lot quieter than my old rickety one.
  •  I found this assignment a little easier than the last one.
  •  I do badly in math, but at least I’m not the worst .
  •  My brother is taller than I am, but he is older too.
  •  Learning Japanese is more difficult than learning Italian.
  •  Mike is funnier than Isaac.
  •  His cat is larger than my dog.
  •  Your grade is worse than mine.
  •  It’s farther from New York to Austin than it is from New York to Nashville.
  •  I need to buy a more modern phone.
  •  Advertising pressures women to be thinner.
  •  Caspar is fatter than my other cats.
  •  This winter was considerably colder than last winter.
  •  I am a better performer than she is, but she has more technical skill.
  •  A rose is more beautiful than a daisy.
  •  You are more polite than Joey.
  •  Jill is faster than Todd.
  •  My house is bigger than yours.

Overall, comparative markers are used to show superiority, inferiority, or a quantity different between compared items. Comparatives are useful for showing the difference between two people, places, or things. 


  1. Comparatives and superlatives of adjectives | Learning French Grammar | Collins Education 
  2. comparative: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Examples of Comparative and Superlative Adjectives for Kids | Your Dictionary 
  4. Examples of Comparative Adjectives | Your Dictionary 
  5. Comparative and Superlative Adjectives: Rules | Grammarly 
  6. The comparative and the superlative | EF | Global Site 
  7. comparative: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense