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The construction “as…as…” can be a difficult point for students of English to use correctly. After we learn the comparatives and superlatives of adjectives, we think, Ok, this is easy! But the construction “as…as…” can prove to be a little harder to not only remember, but also to remember how to use correctly.
It’s important to remember that we use comparatives to say that the quantity (or quality) of something is more or less than something else that we are comparing it to. For example, let’s compare the price of two different car companies.
~ A BMW is more expensive than a Renault.
We want to say that the price of a BMW is greater than that of a Renault, so we use the comparative of ‘expensive.’ But the idea is what’s important: the idea of more.
However, when we use the construction “as…as…,” it communicates a slightly different idea. We use it to say that one of the two quantities (or qualities) we are comparing is the same as the other, if not more. For example, imagine we are looking at two tables, one red and one white, that are both one meter high. We could say:
~ The red table is as high as the white table.
If someone asks us, “Is the red table lower than the white table?” we can answer, “No, the red table is not lower than the white table, it’s as high as the white table.”
Generally speaking, it’s more common to use the construction “as…as…” in negative sentences than in positive sentences. For example, it’s common to hear children use this construction when they are competing against each other in some way (“Your school project isn’t as good as mine!” “Your Christmas presents aren’t as cool as mine!”). Let’s look at a few other examples:
~ A Ford isn’t as expensive as a Ferrari; it’s cheaper.
~ Messi isn’t as tall as me; he’s shorter.
~ Your wife isn’t as beautiful as mine; my wife is more beautiful!
Try practicing what you’ve just learned by doing the exercise!
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