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Comparing People, Places and Things


Use the comparative to form a comparison between two people, places, things, etc. The comparative form expresses that one object has more of a characteristic than the other. Begin the sentence with the first object followed by the use of 'than' for the second object.

Object one + to be + comparative adjective form + than + object two


The human resources department is bigger than the marketing department.

Certificates of Deposit will not have as much liquidity as a Money Market fund.

Our best hope for a renovation would be to secure a construction loan.

Double entry bookkeeping must be more reliable than single entry.

The comparative adjective form is determined by the number of syllables in the adjective. The general rule is that all adjectives that have one syllable add '-er'. Adjectives with three syllables or more take 'more + adjective'. The following explanation provides examples and exceptions to these rules.

One Syllable Adjectives

Add '-er' to the end of the adjective (Note: double the final consonant if preceded by a vowel).


We are paying back the bank loan faster than required.

The gross profits are lower this month

Two Syllable Adjectives Ending in '-y'

Replace then final '-y' with '-ier'.


Jack is happier this week than last week because of the accrued liability.

We are happier to serve this payee than one from New York.

Two or More Syllable Adjectives

Place 'more' before the adjective.


The gold standard makes money more stable.

She thinks that the company is more dedicated to cash collateral than customers.

Important Exceptions

good - better
bad - worse
fun - more fun
far - farther / further


The economy is more of a bull market this year than last.

The inflation caused by loose monetary policy was worse than the high interest rates that preceded it.

A share of this company's stock is worse, as an investment, than a share of that one.

As ... as

The form 'as as + adjective + as' expresses the fact that the characteristic is the same in each object. The negative form 'isn't / aren't as + adjective + as' can be used instead of the comparative. The adjective is not altered in this form.


Certificates of Deposit will not have as much liquidity as a Money Market fund.

While I'll admit it's helpful, overdraft protection isn't as good as avoiding overdrafts in the first place.

The periodical report isn't as useful as up-to-date information.