Similarities and Differences

Expressing Difference: Comparatives and Superlatives

  • Differences can be expressed using comparatives and superlatives.
    • Superlatives talk about extremes of differences between people or things.
      • Sue is the oldest, and Charles is the tallest.
    • Comparatives talk about relative differences between people or things, but they don’t show the extremes of differences.
      • George is taller than Lisa.
      • Charles is shorter than George.

Types of comparatives and superlatives

Adjectives Comparatives Superlatvies

One Syllable

One Syllable+ -y

Two or More Syllables




younger than

easier than

more difficult than

less difficult than

the youngest

the easiest

the most difficult

the least difficult

Adverbs carefully more carefully than

less carefully than

the most carefully

the least carefully

Verbs weigh

weigh more than

weigh less than

weight the most

weigh the least

Nouns money more money than

less money than

the most money

the least money

Degrees of Similarity and Difference

  • Expressing similarity
    • To express similarity between people or things, you can use as … as
      • John is as tall as Ann.
      • OR Ann is as tall as John.
    • To emphasize the amount of similarity, you can add: exactly, almost, nearly, not quite, just about, or practically:
      • John is exactly as tall as Ann.
      • OR Ann is exactly as tall as John.
      • Mark is (just about / practically / not quite / nearly / almost) as tall as John.
  • Expressing difference
    • Another way to express difference is by using a negative not as … as
      • Lisa is not as tall as Mark.
    • You can emphasize the amount of difference by adding not nearly, nowhere near, not anywhere near
      • Lisa (not nearly / nowhere near / not anywhere near) as tall as Ann.

How to Use as … as

  • Like comparatives and superlatives, as … as and negative as … as can be used with all parts of speech.
Parts of Speech
Adjectives Mark is not as tall as John.
Adverbs Ann does work as quickly as George.
Nouns Lisa does not have as much money as Mark.

Ann does not have as many friends as Mark.

Verbs John works as much as Ann.
  • As can be followed by
Parts of Speech
Clauses Mark works as hard as Ann works.

Lisa is not as tall as Ann is.

Reduced Clauses
John works as hard as Ann does.
Noun Phrases John works as hard as Ann.

Lisa is not as tall as Ann.

Subject Pronouns
Ann works as hard as I/you/he/she/we/they.
  • Subject pronouns are are rarely used, except in formal situations. Reduced clauses are normally used instead.
      • Ann works as hard as I do.
    • Object Pronouns
      • Ann works as hard as me/you/her/him/us/them.
  • Object pronouns are very common in conversation and informal writing.
    • Possessive Pronouns
      • Ann’s hair is not as short as mine.