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Modifying comparisons

Do you know how to use phrases like much shorter than, almost as fit as and exactly the same as?

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

Intermediate: B1


Hello Oumou,

If you are working with teenagers, please try LearnEnglish Teens, which is made especially for people aged 13–17.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, it's really helpful understanding the structures of different ways of comparison.

It is always good to learn new things, doing these exercises I discovered a new expression,"nowhere near". As teachers we keep on learning new things everyday and it is fantastic!

Please sir, when use 'more or less' with the same as to compare two things as in this sentence:
The figures for May are more or less the same as the figures for June. What is the meaning of this sentence?

Hi Umoh Margaret,

It means 'almost the same' or 'about the same'. You can say 'more or less the same' to show that the two things are almost the same, but not exactly.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks so much, Sir. It's now understood. Best regards, Sir.

Even though I could not have done this test well as I did as yesterday but until I can understand this I will still learn for completely understand these things.

It's very helpful.

May i seek the clarification In the example"He is taller than Tim but shorter than Jack"
Is this a simple sentence where "than" is a preposition or a Compound-Complex sentence having two co-ordinate clauses and two subordinate clauses since "than" a subordinating conjunction is used twice in the sentence .

Hello Bharati

Our primary purpose here in the comments is to help our users with the content presented on our pages. I realise that here you are trying to better understand sentence structure, and it's true that we have helped you and many other users with these sorts of queries in the past, but I'm afraid we have are less and less able to provide this kind of private instruction.

You might want to consider myClass Online, an online teacher-led course, or a one-to-one tutoring session.

Thanks in advance for your understanding.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team