Learn English 100% free...Get 1 free lesson per week // Add a new lesson
Log in!

Click here to log in
New account
Millions of accounts created on our sites.
JOIN our free club and learn English now!

  • Home
  • Print
  • Guestbook
  • Report a bug

  • Get a free English lesson every week!
    Click here!

    - Our other sites

    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #120968: The more... the less (easy)
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: Quantities [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test 1 - Countable or Uncountable? - Some / Any / Much / Many - Some and any - Adverbs of degree - Quantifiers: some, any, no - Countables and uncountables - Few/Little/Less
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    The more... the less (easy)

    In this lesson, we'll study a structure that can be a real trap even for Advanced Learners.  

    This construction expresses a parallel progression: the more... the more... / the less... the less... When one element of the comparison increases, the second one does too... If it decreases, the other one does too. Yet, sometimes an element increases, whereas the other one decreases. The construction is then almost similar.  

    The wording is misleading. It is a comparison, therefore a comparative should be used. (and is used!). Because of the word 'the' (here an adverb) preceding "more", that stucture is often mistaken for a superlative. It's not! 


    1) Comparative used with a verb:

    The only difficulty lies in the word order... :  The + comparative expression + subject + verb.

    Make sure that you remember... The VERB is placed at the end of the clause. 

    The more she talks, the more confused her explanations become. 




     2) Comparative used with an adjective

    Here, the (very little) difficulty lying in the construction of the comparatives of adjectives is added to the other issue of the word order (In English, the verb is always placed at the end of the sentence). 

    The + adjective in the COMPARATIVE + subject + verb.

    You must make a difference between short adjectives and long ones. 

    - a : The older he grows, the more impatient he becomes. 

    In this example, 'old' is a short adjective. The comparative is formed when you add "- er" to the short adjective => old=> 'older' => 'the older...'

    On the contrary, 'impatient' is a long adjective and its comparative is built with 'more'.=>  'the more impatient... '


    - b : The richer he is, the more generous he should be with the poor!

     - The 'negative progression', ('the less... the less... for the two different forms of adjectives) has no difficulty at all.

     - The less high you climb, the less difficult it will be. (word order




    3) Comparative used with a noun: well, well...  That's when students forget what's most important: the WORD ORDER ! (Yet, it's the same!) 

    The more chocolate he eats, the fewer sweets we will give him. 

    'Chocolate' is here an uncountable noun ( = that you can't count! = '(some) chocolate') => 

    the more + countable/ uncountable noun. (more + countables/ uncountables= expressing an increasing quantity)

    On the contrary, ' a sweet' is 'countable'. (You can count sweets!) and the construction changes for "countables" used to express a smaller quantity:

    Then, it must be preceded by FEW =>  'a few sweets'=> 'fewer sweets'=> 'the fewer sweets'=>   the fewer + countable noun  in the plural.

    The less chocolate he eats, the more sweets he'll ask for! 

    - The more exercises you do, the fewer mistakes you'll make at the test. 




    * Irregular forms: some adjectives have irregular comparatives. 

    -  bad => comparative form= worse - (superlative form - not used here! = the worst)

    -  good => better - (the best)

    -  far - farther - (the farthest) ( concrete distance)

       far - further - (the furthest) ( abstract distance)  


    The following exercise is for beginners. It is a MCQ (multiple choice quiz), which means that you're given several answers and you simply have to choose the good one!  A more difficult exercise, concerning the word order, will be given in another test  test where you'll have to choose the whole construction of the sentence. In this test, you should reach the maximum mark easily. Good luck!    


    Twitter Share
    English exercise "The more... the less (easy)" created by here4u with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from here4u]
    Click here to see the current stats of this English test

    Please log in to save your progress.

    1.' Really, Lucy is growing, she looks like her mum !'

    2.' Kevin, you値l drive on these windy roads, you値l become as a driver.'

    3.' Obviously, your case is, it will be to carry it to the station.'

    4.'Put your lights on, you drive through the tunnel, it is. We can稚 see anything!'

    5.'Lucy! you値l get up, you値l have to be to get ready. It痴 up to you'

    6. the weather became, people there were in the park.

    7.'As you know, the exercise will be, marks you値l get.'
    8. Mum has at her table, the food she cooks is.

    9. ' you値l study about this topic, you値l be able to write in your essay'

    10. she approached the big dog, she was feeling, and she finally screamed!

    End of the free exercise to learn English: The more... the less (easy)
    A free English exercise to learn English.
    Other English exercises on the same topic : Quantities | All our lessons and exercises