Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 106 – Grammar – Making Comparisons while Speaking

Yes! We’re back with making comparisons! Instead of doing the basic grammar stuff that I normally do, in this podcast (and blog) I’ll be talking about how you can make comparisons while speaking.


In spoken and written English, people often use the + comparative + the + comparative to mean, “if is more X, it will be more Y.”

Establishing the mass transit system is a good start for Bangkok. The sooner, the better. (it is best to start right away).

The longer I waited, the harder it was to change (as time passes, it became harder to change.)

Comparative forms of compound adjectives.

If the first word of the compound is an adjective (open minded, long lasting), use –er or more to make the comparative form. If the first word is not an adjectives (badly behaved), use more.

First, at the bottom, are the lower-level physiological needs.

I’d like a more expensive-looking watch.

A more culturally-driven approach is necessary.

Complete the sentences with more, the, or -er. If nothing is needed in a blank, write X.

  1. A problem for people is that ___________ messier their homes are, ______________ agitated they feel.
  2. Money can make you happy for a short time, but _____________ long ________-lasting happiness comes from friends and family.
  3. To use your time most wisely, experts advise us to do our _________________high____________-priority tasks earlier in the day, when we are more alert.
  4. According to a theory, ________________high______________a need is on the pyramid, ______________valuable it is.
  5. To overcome their problems, most people need the support of their family and friends. ______________more,_____________better.

Complete the sentences with your own ideas and opinions. Use comparative forms with The……the.

  1. In my opinion, the richer you are,……
  2. The older you are,…….
  3. The bigger your family is,……
  4. The more stressful your job is,….
  5. The more beautiful/handsome you are……

Complete the questions with the comparative form of the compound adjective in the parentheses.

  1. Would you do a ______________(low-paying) job if it was really interesting?
  2. If you could improve one thing about yourself, would you rather be ___________(good-looking) or _____________(well educated)?
  3. Are you _______________(open-minded) now than when you were a child?
  4. Which is a ________________(high-priority) need for you, your career or family?
  5. Which experience do you think is _____________(life-changing): starting university, starting a new career, or starting a family?


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