Humanities › English Comparative Clause in English Grammar Share Flipboard Email Print Getty Images English English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing By Richard Nordquist Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on February 12, 2020 In English grammar, a comparative clause is a type of subordinate clause that follows the comparative form of an adjective or adverb and begins with as, than, or like. As the name indicates, a comparative clause expresses a comparison—for example, "Shyla is smarter than I am. A comparative clause may contain ellipsis: "Shyla is smarter than I" (formal style) or "Shyla is smarter than me" (informal style). A construction in which the verb has been omitted by ellipsis is called a comparative phrase. Martin H. Manser notes that "[m]any familiar idiomatic phrases take the form of comparative clauses linking equivalents of various kinds: as clear as day, as good as gold, as light as a feather" (The Facts on File Guide to Good Writing, 2006). Examples and Observations Bill BrysonApart from a few perishable dairy products, everything in the fridge was older than I was.Marcel PagnolThe reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.Theodore RooseveltNo other president ever enjoyed the presidency as I did.Charles DickensI only saw in him a much better man than I had been to Joe.Jill LeporeThe United States spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined. The Comparative Clause Structure R. Carter and M. McCarthyWhen comparisons of degree are made between things which are similar or the same, then the comparative clause structure as + adjective/adverb + as phrase or clause is frequently used: Is the Sultan of Brunei as rich as the Queen of England?They are as keen to join in as we are.Property in Guanzhou isn't as expensive as in Hong Kong.Winston ChurchillA man is about as big as the things that make him angry.Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The WrestlerThey don't make 'em like they used to. Reduced Comparative Clauses Rodney D. HuddlestonThe construction where a comparative clause is reduced to a single element is to be distinguished from that where the complement of than or as is simply an NP: [she is taller than] 6ft. Unlike I/me, 6ft is not [the] subject of a reduced clause: there is here no ellipsis. One special case of this latter construction common in non-standard dialects is that where the NP complement of than/as is a fused relative construction: She is taller than what Max is. Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Nordquist, Richard. "Comparative Clause in English Grammar." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/what-is-comparative-clause-1689880. Nordquist, Richard. (2020, August 27). Comparative Clause in English Grammar. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-comparative-clause-1689880 Nordquist, Richard. "Comparative Clause in English Grammar." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-comparative-clause-1689880 (accessed March 29, 2023). copy citation Watch Now: When to Use "Then" and "Than"