Graded and ungraded adjectives

Pattern 3: as ADJ as n/-ing

The adjective follows as and is followed by a prepositional phrase which consists of as and a noun group or '-ing' clause. This pattern is used to compare two people or things.
Erosion has sculpted massive stone pillars and great arches of rock as big as cathedrals.
To allow this newspaper into your home is about as commendable as mixing rat-poison into your kiddies' milkshakes.
Unfortunately, the new proposals look as dismal as the old.
Our methane reserves are not as extensive as our buried coal but are more plentiful than oil.
For us, writing is unproblematic and unreflective, as normal as breathing.
I'm sure your hands were as soft as mine once.
If a bear had done it, he must have been as strong as a grizzly, not one of our local black bears.
This room overlooks a 300-year-old sycamore tree as tall as two double-decker buses.
Some fixed expressions have this pattern. They are used to indicate that someone or something has a lot of a quality. For example, It is as old as the hills indicates that it is very old.
It may be 100 years old, but it still looks as fresh as a daisy.
That idea is as old as the hills.
Many of these fixed expressions are also found in the pattern ADJ as n.
It was clear as day to him.
The preposition as is sometimes followed by a noun group and an '-ing' clause. This pattern is as ADJ as n -ing.
The water system could have been disturbed by something as innocuous as a strong wind stroking the surface.

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