I saw some sentences using "wider and wider".but at times , i cannot get the part of speech or something like function of this phrase.

OP 1."Wolf's trot broke into a run, wider and wider were the leaps he made"

2."The application areas for photo electronic technology are becoming wider and wider

3."In recent years, the use of computers wider and wider in every field"

In these examples i posted , i only understand the second one.coz the usage of be/become+wider and wider" makes more sense than "sentence+wider and wider"

Can i situate this phrase within whatever position i want?.Does it function as either an adjective or an adverb?

Frankly,there are more examples using that phrase apart from the three OPs i mentioned.and i find the usage way too casual.

  • Yes, it does (act as an adjective or adverb). Your example (3) is missing a predicate in the main clause. In it "use" is the subject. Sep 13, 2015 at 12:09
  • By the way, if you mean "option", you should spell it out, or use "opt.", rather than using "OP"; on this forum, we use "OP" to mean Original Poster (that is, you, the one who posted the question.) Sep 13, 2015 at 12:23

2 Answers 2


Wolf's trot broke into a run, wider and wider were the leaps he made [adjective modifying the noun leaps]

This is an inversion often used in literature for stylistic purposes.

The application areas for photo electronic technology are becoming wider and wider [predicate adjective modifying the link verb are becoming]

As for your third example, it is indeed not a complete sentence. The whole sentence could look something like

In recent years, the use of computers [having become] wider and wider in every field, (information circulates much faster than before).

Note that wider and wider is an adjective describing the noun use and having become is elided.


First of all, number 3 is not a sentence; it has no verb.

Sentence 1 is correct grammatically, but we (AmE) would say his "steps" were "longer", not his "leaps" were "wider".

Sentence 2, as you guessed, is correct.

It functions as an adjective, usually as a predicate adjective. It does matter where you put it, as with any adjective, so as to make clear what it modifies. So it would not be optimal to write, for example:

  • Wider and wider, she saw him open his eyes. (she is not getting wider!)

But in spoken English, the above would be correctly understood.

(I'm sure there are cases where placement would be more critical, but can't think of any at the moment)

  • In the first example,why it uses inversion? I mean,(wider and wider were the leaps he made)..or maybe it's an non-restrictive attributive clause?
    – 오준수
    Sep 13, 2015 at 17:40
  • Could you tell me the non-abbreviated form of first example? Would it be like (wolf's trot broke into a run,which were the steps he made longer and longer?)...
    – 오준수
    Sep 13, 2015 at 17:43
  • 1
    Surely, there is a big difference between a step and a leap. And if a wolf is galloping, leap is a much better description than step for what he's doing. And if you don't like leap for some reason, you could use stride, but step is much too weak a word. (Although I agree that longer is definitely the more appropriate adjective). Aug 7, 2022 at 12:40

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