Comparison (2)

1. use

We use as … as to say that people or things are equal in some way.

  • She’s as tall as her brother.
  • She speaks French as well as the rest of us.

2. negative structures

After not, we can use so … as instead of as … as.

  • He’s not as/so friendly as she is. (more informal than He’s less friendly…)

3. as … as + adjective/adverb

Note the structure: as … as + adjective/adverb.

  • Please get here as soon as possible.
  • I’ll spend as much as necessary. You’re as beautiful as ever.

4. pronouns after as

In an informal style we can use object pronouns (me, him etc) after as.

  • She doesn’t sing as well as me.

In a formal style, we prefer subject + verb after as.

  • She doesn’t sing I do.

A subject form without a verb ( well as he) is unusual in this structure in modern English.

5 as much/many … as

We can use as much/many … as to talk about quantity.

  • I haven’t got as much money as I thought.
  • We need as many people as possible.

As much/many can be used without following nouns.

  • I ate as much as I could.
  • She didn’t catch as many as she’d hoped.


And as much … can be used as an adverb.

  • You ought to rest as much as possible.

6. emphatic use: as much as 80kg

As much/many as can be used before a number to mean ‘the large amount/ quantity’.

  • Some of these fish can weigh as much as 80kg.
  • There are sometimes as many as 40 students in the classes.

As little/few can be used to mean ‘the small amount/quantity’.

  • You can fly to Paris for as little as 20 euros.

7. half as … as etc

Half, twice, three times etc can be used before as … as.

  • You’re not half as clever as you think you are.
  • I’m not going out with a man who’s twice as old as me.
  • It took three times as long as I expected. (OR three times longer than I expected)

8. modification

Before as … as we can use (not) nearly, almost, just, nothing like, every bit, exactly, not quite.

  • It’s not nearly as cold as yesterday. He’s just as strong as ever.
  • You’re nothing like as bad-tempered as you used to be.
  • She’s every bit as beautiful as her sister.
  • I’m not quite as tired as I was last week.

9. infinitives

Where as … as is used with two infinitives, the second is often without to.

  • It’s as easy to do it right as (to) do it wrong.

10. tenses

In as … as-clauses (and other kinds of as-clauses), a present tense is often
used to refer to the future, and a past tense can have a conditional meaning

  • We’ll get there as soon as you do/will.
  • If you married me, I’d give you as much freedom as you wanted.

11. leaving out the second part

The second part of the as … as or so … as structure can be left out when the
meaning is clear from what comes before.

  • The train takes 40 minutes. By car it’ll take you twice as long.
  • I used to think he was clever. Now I’m not so sure.

In cases like this, not so is much more common than not as

12. traditional expressions

We use the structure as … as … in a lot of traditional comparative

  • She’s hard as nails.
  • I’m tired as hell of listening to your problems.

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