Comparing attributes

When comparing the attributes of two things, we use a standard set of constructions.

When attributes are equal

Comparing equal attributes is simple. To compare the attributes of two things that are equal, we use the pattern:

as + adjective describing the attribute + as

  • Tom is as tall as his brother.
  • I am as hungry as you are.
  • Sally is as nice as Jane.
When attributes are not equal

When the two attributes are not equal, there are three constructions with equivalent meanings.

Either use the pattern:

not as + adjective describing the attribute + as

Or use the pattern:

less + adjective describing the attribute + than : This construction is more frequent with some adjectives than with others.

Or use the pattern:

comparative adjective + than : This construction may require changing the order of the phrase or using the opposing adjective.

  • Mont Blanc is not as high as Mount Everest.
  • Mont Blanc is less high than Mount Everest.
  • Mont Blanc is lower than Mount Everest.
  • Mount Everest is higher than Mont Blanc.
  • Norway is not as sunny as Thailand.
  • Norway is less sunny than Thailand.
  • Thailand is sunnier than Norway.
  • Norway is cloudier than Thailand.