You do not have to present one thing as a stark contrast to another – ‘it’s bigger’. You can use a whole range of words and expressions to write with precision and ensure that your reader has a clear idea of what you are saying. The cave in the rocks turned out to be at least four times bigger than geologists had expected. Read this short text on river pollution, noting the words and phrases that are used to describe similarities and differences. Although the Danube is more than twice as long as the Rhine, both are similar in that they have their sources in central Europe. The Danube, however, unlike the westward-flowing Rhine, travels east through countries that have not been able to invest in expensive water-treatment plants. While the Rhine Action Programme has ensured that the river is 80 per cent cleaner than it was 20 years ago, the Danube Pollution Reduction Programme, in contrast, has been far less successful. Modifying adjectives and adverbs For structures with a comparative adjective or adverb (+ than), you can use much, a great deal, far, or the opposites slightly, a little, marginally – or percentages (as in the text above): Earthquake damage is much greater in areas where housing was poorly constructed.
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