Sentence 018 Let the cat out of the bag.
018 John is more intelligent.
018 The grapefruit juice is more bitter.
018 The Japanese train is faster.
018 The Lamborghini Centenario Roadster is more expensive than the Porsche.
Leslie: Is there a Benchmark in the Sentence? Let’s see the Sentences one by one.
Mark: ’John is more intelligent.’ There is no Benchmark here and we don’t really know how John’s intelligence compares to somebody else’s.
L: You are right and the lack of the Benchmark means that we cannot appreciate the real meaning of the Comparative, i. e. the increase of quality, quantity or degree. What is the next?
M: ’The grapefruit juice is more bitter.’ This Sentence, if it is at all possible, even worse. Let me add to it: this Sentence is even worse than the first. I must avoid the same mistake I’ve just criticised.
L: How is it worse than the first Sentence?
M: We cannot form the Comparative Degree with ’more’ if the Adjective or Adverb is short, i. e. if it has two syllables. No Benchmark, and badly formed Comparative.
L: Your analysis is correct. What comes next?
M: ’The Japanese train is faster.’ Faster than which other train? There is no Benchmark here, either.
L: That’s right. If the context is the description of trains, the Sentence would be correct, but in a solo Sentence, the Benchmark is badly missing. We have last Sentence here.
M: Yes, and it is ’The Lamborghini Centenario Roadster is more expensive than the Porsche.’ The Comparative Degree is correct, i. e. ’more expensive’ for an Adjective that has three syllables, and there is a Benchmark, too. It is ’than the Porsche’.
L: With all these we can correctly compare the two cars.