The…the with comparative adjectives
January 4th, 2011 in Improve English
Comparison and contrast are expressed by the structure the…the. Note that this structure is used to show proportionate increase or decrease.
Note the word order in both clauses: the + comparative expression + subject + verb
The less I see him the more I like him. (NOT The less I see him I like him more.)
The more I read the less I understand.
The older we grow the wiser we become.
The higher you climb the colder it gets.
The more I study the less I learn.
The more he earns the less he saves.
More can be used with a noun in this structure.
The more money he makes, the more useless things he buys.
A short form of this structure is used in sentences ending the better.
‘How do you like your tea?’ ‘The stronger the better.’
Note that in these expressions the word the is not really the definite article. It is a form of the demonstrative pronoun, meaning ‘by that much’.
Double comparatives are used to say that something is changing.
Note the structures:
…er and …er
more and more
She is getting younger and younger.
We are moving more and more slowly. (NOT We are moving more slowly and more slowly.)