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Describing language
Describing language

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2.3 Comparing using adjectives

Because adjectives describe things, they are often used for comparing things. You could own a large house, while your neighbour owns a larger house, but your cousin owns the largest house in the world! In simple terms, to compare two things (i.e. small and smaller or large and larger) the morpheme -er is added to the adjective. However, some longer adjectives, like extensive or inspiring add the word more beforehand to signal this comparison:

Paris is bigger than Lyon, and it’s more expensive too

If you have the most extreme example of something, you can show this by adding ‑est to the adjective. With longer adjectives the word most is added beforehand:

It’s the fastest car in the race, and the most expensive

Other ways of comparison include using less and least, or not as:

It’s less expensive than the French one

I thought it was the least interesting of all the places we visited

They’re not as worried as we are

Activity 3 Adjectives in comparison

Timing: This activity should take around 15 minutes

Put the adjective at the end of each sentence into the gap. Make sure you use the right form.

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1. It’s the strangest film I’ve ever seen. (strange)

2. The rain is heavier than yesterday. (heavy)

3. The deficit is a lot bigger than it was last year. (big)

4. They bought the most expensive house in the village. (expensive)

5. Filippo’s disguise was the least convincing of all, and he was soon arrested. (convincing)