Wednesday, March 7

The Bigger, the Better

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In English, there is a strange but common expression: “The bigger, the better” or “The more, the merrier.”

(*Note: “Merry” means “Happy”)

This style of sentence is very different from other normal sentences. Because it's hard to tell where the Subject and the Verb are.

In Example # 1, imagine that you are borrowing a bag from your friend. Your friend asks you: “What kind of bag do you need?

You can answer: “The bigger, the better.”

Because you have a lot of stuff that you need to put in the bag.

In Example # 2, somebody asks you if he could bring his friend to your birthday party. 

You can answer: “The more, the merrier.

This means that a big group with many members can enjoy more than a small group.

As a matter of fact, these are the complete versions of the two expressions above:

1.       The bigger the bag, the better it is for me.

-- and –

2.       The more guests there are, the happier we will be.

And the grammar pattern of the expressions above is:

The Comparative + S + V, the Comparative + S + V

As you can see, this pattern is special because the Subject and the Verb are not at the beginning of the sentence, like where they usually are. You can say the structure looks like it was switched, because the last part is in fact at the beginning.

In a few cases like these in English, you just have to memorize the formula and practice it. Because you can’t explain it in terms of grammar. It’s a special case.

How To Make Expressions Like These

First, you have to know how to use the Comparative:


More beautiful
More expensive
More difficult
More dangerous

Next, just try and follow our formula above:

The Comparative + S + V, the Comparative + S + V

Ex. The richer the person is, the sadder he is.

The smarter the student is, the happier the teacher is.

The more dangerous a sport is, the more excited he feels.

The more expensive a gift is, the more she likes it.


Sometimes we can also insert Nouns:

Ex. The more money a person has, the more problems he has.

The more electricity I use, the higher my bill will be.

The more members there are, the longer it takes to make a decision.

The more sweets you eat, the heavier you will be.

And sometimes, the Noun and the Pronoun aren’t so important. What’s important is the Verb (or the action of the sentence).

Ex. The harder he worked, the more stressful it got.

The faster he drove, the happier he felt.

The higher you dive, the more dangerous it is.  

The louder you speak, the better we can hear you.

Finally, you can also use the short version of most of the sentences that we mentioned. Like these:

The smarter the student, the happier the teacher.

The more money, the more problems.

The more electricity, the higher the bill.

-- Or --

The richer, the sadder.

The more dangerous, the more exciting.

The harder, the more stressful.

The higher, the more dangerous.


Just make sure that it’s clear in the situation what you're saying and the listener can understand you.  

Hope you learned something!

Keep on learning !


  1. Tks!! How about like this?
    The haeder I practice,The more confidence I gain in my English sklls. I really think so.kkk


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