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Double Comparatives

Although many learners and teachers call the pattern

LESS LESS
THE MORE A , THE MORE B
-ER -ER

double comparatives, it is actually used to describe how one thing increases or decreases
in relations to another. The pattern, used to express proportion, consists of two clauses
beginning with the + a comparative adjective or adverb.

The bigger your income is, the more you spend.

This pattern is used with adverbs as much as with adjectives.

The faster we drive, the earlier we will arrive home.
Kids! The older they get, the more trouble they become.

[Notice the changing word order.]

More examples:

The more, the merrier.
The sooner, the better.
The more experienced you are, the easier it is to find a job.
The more books you have, the more difficult it becomes to find place for them.
The more he talked, the more annoyed I became.
The smaller the classroom is, the harder it is to keep a distance among the students.
The larger the house (is), the more expensive it becomes to maintain.
The less you eat, the more quickly you’ll lose weight.

Exercises
Rewrite the sentences without changing the meaning.

1. Students become more nervous as they get closer to their exams.
____________________________________________________________________
2. Dogs become less aggressive as they get older.
____________________________________________________________________
1

Then it becomes more difficult to choose what to read.3. ____________________________________________________________________ 12. it becomes more expensive to supply cat food. If I stay longer at home. 1. ____________________________________________________________________ 4. When you have more time. it became more complicated. you move slower. You’ll become more fluent if you write more. I’ll save more money. they became heavier. ____________________________________________________________________ 8. If you travel more. ____________________________________________________________________ 7. I feel like moving less. ____________________________________________________________________ 5. So. ____________________________________________________________________ 14. ____________________________________________________________________ 13. I get more tired and sleepless. ____________________________________________________________________ 11. If I spend less. As I look after more cats every day. they are harder to afford. the more nervous they become. ____________________________________________________________________ 15. People become more tolerant as they grow old. so. ____________________________________________________________________ Suggested answers to the exercises. As I carried the shopping bags longer. you will know the world better. I have more and more exams these days. However. ____________________________________________________________________ 10. ____________________________________________________________________ 6. The closer the students get to their exams. Days get longer. we’ll get more sunlight. 2 . ____________________________________________________________________ 9. When computers get smaller. I buy more and more books. We discussed this matter more.

2. the more money I’ll save. The older people grow. 15. 10. The more cats I look after every day. 9. The less I spend. The more books I buy. the more tolerant they become. 14. 12. The more you write. 13. 6. the slower you move. the more sunlight we’ll get. 3. 4. The longer I carried the shopping bags. the more expensive it becomes to supply cat food. the less I feel like moving. the better you know the world. The more time you have. 3 . The more you travel. 5. The older dogs get. the more difficult it becomes to choose what to read. The smaller computers get. the more tired and sleepless I get. 7. the less aggressive they become. the heavier they became. the harder they become to afford. the more fluent you’ll become. 8. The longer days are. The more we discussed this matter. the more complicated it became. The more exams I have these days. 11. The longer I stay at home.