Modifying comparatives

Modifying comparatives

Do you know how to use phrases like much shorter than, almost as fit as and exactly the same as? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how comparisons can be modified.

He's much shorter than his brother.
Good-quality socks are almost as important as your running shoes.
Our hotel room was exactly the same as the photos showed.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Grammar B1-B2: Modifying comparisons: 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

There are several different ways to compare things in English. We can also modify comparisons to show big or small differences.


We can use comparative adjectives to compare different things.

Max is taller than Judy.
You're more patient than I am.
His first book is less interesting than his second.

We can use as … as with an adjective to say that two things are the same, or not as … as to say that one thing is less than another. 

Her hair is as long as mine.
It's not as sunny as yesterday.

We can also use expressions like different from, similar to and the same as.

England is different from the United Kingdom.
His car is similar to mine.
The results from the first test are the same as the results from the second.

Showing big differences

We can use much, so much, a lot, even or far with comparative adjectives.

Sales in July were a lot higher than sales in June.
He was far less experienced than the other applicant.

We can use nowhere near with as … as.

The interview was nowhere near as difficult as the written exam.

We can use very, really, completely or totally with different from.

They may be twins, but they're completely different from each other.

Showing small differences

We can use slightly, a little, a bit, a little bit or not much with comparative adjectives.

The number of registrations has been slightly lower than we expected.
Houses in my city are not much more expensive than flats.

We can use almost, nearly, not quite, roughly, more or less or about with as … as and the same as.

She's almost as old as I am.
The figures for May are more or less the same as the figures for June.

We can use very or really with similar to.

My son looks really similar to my father when he was that age.

Showing there is no difference

We can use exactly the same as or just as … as to emphasise that there is no difference.

My grandma's cakes still taste exactly the same as when I was a child!
A new phone can be just as expensive as a new computer these days.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Grammar B1-B2: Modifying comparisons: 2

Language level

Average: 4.6 (27 votes)
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Submitted by Alesawe on Tue, 02/07/2024 - 12:15


Hi everyone. 

Can someone explain to me the difference between:

Imagine that you met the president, what would you say to him?

Imagining that you met the president, what would you say to him?

Thank you in advance

Hello Alesawe,

The -ing form here (present participle) is used when we want to suggest that the person should do something and at the same time do something else (here, imagine). For example:

Keeping in mind that we don't have much money for this, plan a night out for all the office staff for this weekend.

Here the person should plan the night out while not forgetting the lack of money.

Your sentence is different. I think you have a sequence of actions: first imagine you meet the president and then think about what you want to say. Here the -ing form is not really suitable in my view.



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Alesawe on Sun, 02/06/2024 - 18:26


Hello everyone

I am teaching a textbook entitled (Language Hub), and one of the grammatical structions that drew my attention is (He was to have been an actor). I had read many books and jouranls, but I had not seen this structure before. Could anyone tell me how commonly is this structure used? 

Thank you in advance

Hello Alesawe,

The structure in the present is as follows:

am/is/are + to verb

She is to be the new boss.

We are to go to the station to pick Mr. Green up.

You are not to speak about this. Understood?

It is used to give instructions and describe expected or required outcomes.

Your construction is the same but in the past. The use of the perfect form ( have been...) makes it clear that the expection was not met - i.e. he didn't become an actor for some reason.



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Alesawe on Mon, 20/05/2024 - 22:48


Hi there. I have just joined this great group. Is it  appropriate to use modifiers with comparatives (especially as ..... as structure) in a negative sentences? 

A is not almost as expensice as B. 

Thank you very much 

Hi Alesawe,

You can use a couple of modifiers in this way, but not 'almost'. Possible modifiers with 'not' include not quite, not entirely, not completely, and not in totality. As you can see, they all have a similar meaning and show a small difference:

He's not quite as annoying as his brother.

The situation is not entirely as bad as you suggest.


You can also use not nearly to show a big difference:

Our teacher is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is!



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Xray on Thu, 09/11/2023 - 14:35


For me this help me alot, thanks for helping!!

Submitted by Heinthantsoe on Wed, 26/07/2023 - 06:11


Please, would you mind to explain what is the 'nowhere' near mean?