Session 2

Are your shoes more comfortable than mine? Who's got the biggest feet? In this session we take a look at comparatives and superlatives and find out what a famous golfer contributed to the language of comparison.

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Activity 2

Hotter and hotter

Highlighting change

It's a dark night. As you look up into the darkness, a streak of light flashes across the sky. Could it be an alien spaceship? Probably not. Perhaps, more realistically, it's a shooting star.

"Shooting stars are pieces of dust and rock from space that are falling to Earth. As they pass through the gas that makes up our atmosphere they get hotter and hotter and start to glow as they fall."

This excerpt from a BBC science story has a good example of how we can repeat a comparative to emphasise how something changes: "they get hotter and hotter". The comparative is repeated and linked with and.

Here are some more examples from the BBC website:

"Halloween is over, and bonfire night is nearly here, meaning Christmas is getting closer and closer."

"... the eternally scrolling page that just gets longer and longer and slower and slower."

Of course, some comparatives are made with the word more. For these - we repeat more.

"...[we] need to be more and more efficient."

"It also helps to explain why, when it comes to housing refugees, the burden falls more and more heavily on developing countries."

"For the last few years, rains have become more and more unpredictable."

Read the text and complete the activity

Combining comparatives

You might not know Gary Player. He is one of the best golfers of all time. He is also famous for a saying which combines comparatives.

He was very skilful and was often successful with very difficult shots. Someone commented that he was very lucky. This didn't please Player, who worked very hard to be a good golfer. His reply has now become legendary.

"Well the harder I practise, the luckier I get."

This is a perfect example of a structure that connects two comparative ideas. Doing more of one thing, leads to an increase in another thing. Here are some more examples.

The slower the bus went, the more impatient the passengers became.

The later it got, the more worried I became.

To do

Now try our next quiz. This gives you the chance to do more practice with comparatives and superlatives. In each question, choose the best options to complete the sentences. Good luck!

The harder you practise, the better you get!

5 Questions

Choose the correct words to complete each sentence.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y


Now why not join Finn and Catherine and listen to 6 Minute Grammar on this topic. Go on, you know you want to.

Session Grammar

  • Doubling comparatives

    Join two of the same comparative adjectives or adverbs together with and to emphasis change.

    hotter and hotter
    closer and closer

    For comparatives that use more, double the more.

    more and more interesting
    more and more careful

    Combining comparatives

    Use the following structure to show how one comparative effects another.

    The + comparative..., the + comparative...

    The faster he drove, the more scared I got.
    The longer it went on, the more bored I was.

Session Vocabulary