Tennis Lesson on Comparative Adjectives


A recent exhibition tennis match on a barge in front of a glacier in Patagonia between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was so cool I’ve decided to give a tennis lesson… a grammar lesson comparing tennis champions, that is!

Today I’ll compare men’s tennis rivals Rafa and Nole, who are currently ranked #1 and #2 in the world (as of December 2013). I’ll look at some of the top women’s players tomorrow.

First an overview of comparisons and then a short quiz (it’s painless, I promise).


What are comparative adjectives?

They are adjectives that compare (=contrast) two different nouns (persons/places/things).

For example, Novak Djokovic is taller than Rafael Nadal.

Review of Form:

The form of comparative adjectives depends on the base adjective.

–   For 1-syllable adjectives, adder:

old –older            slow – slower

–    Spelling note: for 1-syllable adjectives ending in one consonant, double the consonant:

fatfatter           thinthinner

–    For adjectives that end in e, add –r:

late – later            nice – nicer

–     Adjectives that end in y, change the y toier:

sunnysunnier          heavyheavier

–    Longer words (with 2 or more syllables) use the word more instead of adding an ending to the adjective:

interesting – more interesting        crowded – more crowded

– of course there are a few exceptions:

good – better              bad – worse

–   Form:  use the comparative adjective + than to compare two things or people (when you actually state both things or people).

                Rafael is older than Novak.

                Novak is younger.

Ready to practice with a little quiz?

1. Create comparative forms of these adjectives:


hot:          hotter










2. Choose the correct adjectives to fill in the blanks below. There are 7 choices but you only need 3 for the answers. Be sure to use the correct comparison form:

old     heavy      happy      young      tall      early      fast    nice

At 26 years old, Nole is one year than Rafa, who is 27.

Rafa is 185 cm / 85 kg and Nole is 188 cm / 80 kg:

Regarding size, they’re almost the same but Rafa is slightly and Nole is a bit .

3. Fill in the gaps with the correct comparative adjective below. (Be sure to change to adjective to the correct form).

nice      happy     big      small      early     hot     good

1.  Both Rafa and Nole are popular and known for being friendly. It’s hard to say who is .

2.  Rafa is currently ranked #1 but Nole was the player at the Barclays ATP World Tour finals in London because he won in two sets (6-3, 6-4) that day.

3.  Any player should be proud to reach the finals, but the winner is probably than the loser.

4.  The total prize money at the 2013 US Open was $34.3 million, almost a 40% increase above the 2012 prize money. The prize money in 2013 was much  than in 2012.

5.  Since the women play the best of 3 sets at Grand Slam tournaments and the men play the best of 5, some say the women’s prize money should be .

6.  The women’s end-year championships were held in September in Istanbul and the men’s in London in November. The women’s match was held at an  date.

7.  The temperature at the US Open finals in New York was much  than the exhibition match in the glacier park in Patagonia.




5 thoughts on “Tennis Lesson on Comparative Adjectives

  1. Roberto

    Nadal is better. He is more beautiful. He is the best tennis p layer in this world this day. He is the champion.


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