No teste de Inglês da ANAC você terá que fazer comparações durante o teste para mostrar a sua proficiência. (e, obviamente, nas suas conversas no dia-a-dia  você vai ter que fazer isso muito.

Na foto acima, vemos um A380 e um A320. Ao final desta lição, você será capaz de dizer que é maior e que é menor.

How to Form Comparative Adjectives

In English we have two ways of making or forming comparative adjectives:

  • for short adjectives: add “-er”
  • for long adjectives: use “more”
Short adjectives
  • 1-syllable adjectives
old, fast
  • 2-syllable adjectives ending in -y
happy, easy
Normal rule: add “-er” old → older
Variation: if the adjective ends in -e, just add -r late → later
Variation: if the adjective ends in consonant, vowel, consonant, double the last consonant big → bigger
Variation: if the adjective ends in -y, change the y to i happy → happier
Long adjectives
  • 2-syllable adjectives not ending in -y
modern, pleasant
  • all adjectives of 3 or more syllables
expensive, intellectual
Normal rule: use “more” modern → more modern
expensive → more expensive
With some 2-syllable adjectives, we can use ‘-er’ or ‘more’:

  • quiet → quieter/more quiet
  • clever → cleverer/more clever
  • narrow → narrower/more narrow
  • simple → simpler/more simple

These adjectives have irregular forms:

  • good → better
  • well (health) → better
  • bad → worse
  • far → farther/further

Use of Comparative Adjectives

Comparative adjectives are used when we talk about 2 things (not 3 or 10 or 1,000,000 things, only 2 things).

Often, the comparative adjective is followed by “than”.

Look at these examples:

  • Ricardo is 1m80. He is tall. But Paul is 1m85. Paul is Taller than Ricardo.
  • America is big. But Russia is bigger.
  • The new Learjet 45s have more powerful engines.
  • Is Portuguese more difficult than English?

If we talk about the two planets Earth and Mars, we can compare them as shown in the table below:

Earth Mars
Diameter (km) 12,760 6,790 Mars is smaller than Earth.
Distance from Sun (million km) 150 228 Mars is more distant from the Sun.
Length of day (hours) 24 25 A day on Mars is slightly longer than a day on Earth.
Moons 1 2 Mars has more moons than Earth.
Surface temperature (degrees Celcius) 22 -23 Mars is colder than Earth.
Although we use comparative adjectives when talking about two things (not three or more things), in fact one or both of the things may be a group of things.
  • The A380 is bigger than all other commercial aircraft types

Here, we are talking about hundreds of aircraft types, but we are still comparing one thing (The A80) to one other thing (all other commercial aircraft types).

Irregular Adjective Practice

  • Good
  • Well
  • Bad
  • Far

Exam Practice

In the ANAC tests of English you will be asked at least one question in which the examiner will expect you to make comparisons using comparative adjectives, these often come in the form of a question in which you will need to compare the past with now or to compare now with the future.

Here are some examples.

Think about your answers and then compare your answers to ours.

How has aviation changed since you were a student pilot?

What do you think that aviation will be like in 10 years time?

How does a modern cockpit compare to the cockpits of 30 years ago?

Modern aviation is safer than it has ever been, what factors have contributed to this?

What is the future of Brazilian aviation?

Sample Answers 

How has aviation changed since you were a student pilot?

Commercial aircraft are now much bigger, they are faster and they fly higher.  Engines are more efficient and quieter.  Airports are much busier because more passengers are flying everyday.

(This is written using present tenses, try to rewrite it using past tenses in and change the comparisons to negatives.  for example: “Engines we less efficient and louder

What do you think that aviation will be like in 10 years time?

Ten years from now we will still have many of the same aircraft flying, but in my opinion, there will be more aircraft in the airways. The airways will be busier, advances in avionics and air traffic management will make aviation safer. to handle the increase in traffic and passenger numbers, the airports will need to be more efficient.  I think that maybe the cost of flying per passenger will be cheaper if the airlines are not greedy, hopefully the passengers will pay less too!

How does a modern cockpit compare to the cockpits of 30 years ago?

Modern cockpits are safer than the cockpits of the past, cockpits are ordered in a more logical way. because of better computing, many items have been removed because the computers are able to monitor the systems for the pilots.  Cockpits now are more comfortable and have been designed so that the pilots can work in a more logical sense (normally from left to right) as they perform checklists.

What is the future of Brazilian aviation?

Use our answers to the question “What do you think aviation will be like in ten years time?’ and try to answer this question again.

More Lessons About Adjectives