I know that when something changes (whether it increases or decreases in size, number, or whatever) along with another change, it can be expressed with " the+ comparative, the+ comparative" form. ex) the more, the better / the higher the salary is, the happier the workers get

But I wonder if the ones below are also allowed..

  • Is it more difficult (Does it get more difficult), the larger the number is?

  • Do the workers get happier, the higher their salaries are?

  • 2
    Your sentences are good and natural, except there should be no commas
    – gotube
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


The sentences are correct to me except for the commas. What you have after the comma is necessary to the construction, so use: "Is it more difficult the larger the number is?" or "Do the workers get happier the higher their salaries are?" (However, if I were editing those questions, I'd probably rephrase them: "Does the largeness of the number affect the difficulty?" or "Are workers happier when their salaries are higher?"

  • 3
    I would never use " largeness of the number", I would use "size". This makes thew whole sentence sound more bureaucratic and so less natural. ""Does the size of the number affect the difficulty?" is OK, but no improvement on "Does it get more difficult, the larger the number is?" It loses the suggestion that the problem is with increase, not decrease, which is a change of meaning. And I would tend to retain the commas, particularly in the second example. (happier) Commented May 19, 2019 at 13:34

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