The sentence is:

Many people move to the city, because there are too few jobs for them in smaller towns. (It is a single sentence without context - taken from a 'complete the sentences' exercise)

It is already known that towns are smaller than cities; so what is the point of using the comparative adjective 'smaller' here?

Source: English for Starters _ Students' Book _ By: Julia Starr Keddle & Martyn Hobbs

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


It suggests "smaller than average" towns. A comparative adjective like "smaller" can be used in front of a word to mean "relatively small" (when compared to other towns)

The author could have used "small towns", but since all towns are small (when compared to cities) this would mean "especially small towns". On the other hand "smaller towns" means "relatively small" or "less than average" and so would include some towns that are smaller than average, but not especially small.


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