Comparative and Superlative Adjectives! Comparison of Adjectives in English! Learn comparatives and superlatives in English with ESL printable infographics, useful grammar rules and examples.
When we want to compare two or more nouns using adjectives, we use the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective to show the comparison between the nouns.
E.g. Honey is sweet, sugar is sweeter but victory is the sweetest.
In this sentence, we are comparing the three nouns using the positive, comparative and superlative forms of the word ‘sweet’.
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
These are the simple adjectives that simply describe the noun without comparing it to another – big, sweet, clean, etc.
- She has a big black dog.
- He is a sweet boy.
- The cupboard is clean.
These are used when we are comparing two nouns and need to show which noun possesses the adjective or character in a greater or lesser amount, when compared with the other. – bigger, sweeter, cleaner, etc.
- I have a big dog but hers is bigger.
- He is sweeter than the other boys.
- The cupboard is cleaner than before.
Superlative Adjective is used when three or more nouns are being compared and we need to show that one or more of the nouns posses the adjective or characteristic to the highest amount possible. We usually add ‘the’ before the superlative form. – biggest, sweetest, cleanest, etc.
- She has the biggest dog in the colony.
- He is the sweetest boy in his class.
- The cupboard is the cleanest thing in the house.
How to Make Comparative and Superlative
There are certain rules that must be followed in the making of the comparatives and superlatives of the adjectives. Not all adjectives form their comparatives and superlatives in the same way and there are also some irregular adjectives that form completely different comparative and superlative forms.
Comparison of Adjectives Rule #1
Single Syllable Words and Double Syllable Words ending with -y, -er, -ow, -le –
- We use ‘-er’ to make the comparative and ‘-est’ to make the superlative.
- When there is a silent ‘e’ at the end of the positive form, we remove that and add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’
- When the adjective ends with a ‘y’, we convert the ‘y’ into ‘i’ before adding ‘-er’ and ‘-est
- If the adjective is a small one with little stress on the vowel, we double the last consonant.
Comparison of Adjectives Rule #2
Other Words with Two or More Syllables
For other double syllable words that do not end with -y, -er, -ow, -le, and for adjectives with more than two syllables, we use more and most to form the comparatives and superlatives.
Comparison of Adjectives Rule #3 (Special Adjectives)
There a few adjectives that can use both ‘-er and -est’ and ‘more’ and ‘most’ to form their comparative and superlative forms. The distinction between these is that ‘-er and -est’ are used when we are comparing the noun to another noun and ‘more’ and ‘most’ is used when we are comparing characteristics within the noun.
|Cleverer/ More Clever
E.g: He is cleverer than her.
E.g: He is more clever than studious.
|Quieter/ More Quiet
E.g: This is the most quiet it gets here.
|Quietest/ Most Quiet
E.g: This is the quietest place.
|Braver/ More Brave
E.g: She is braver than other girls.
|Bravest/ Most Brave
E.g: She was more brave than afraid.
|Surer/ More Sure
E.g: He was surer of the result than others.
|Surest/ Most Sure
E.g: You’ll be more sure about the concept after you read the chapter.
Comparison of Adjectives Rule #4 (Irregular Comparisons)
These adjectives do not make their comparative and superlative forms using the rules above. Their comparative and superlative forms are different words altogether.
|Far (place & time)
Comparison of Adjectives Exercise
Comparison of Adjectives | Chart
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives in English | Image 2
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some examples of comparative and superlative adjectives?
Comparative adjectives are used to compare two things, while superlative adjectives are used to compare three or more things. Some examples of comparative adjectives are “bigger,” “faster,” and “more interesting.” Some examples of superlative adjectives are “biggest,” “fastest,” and “most interesting.”
What are the rules for forming comparative and superlative adjectives?
The rules for forming comparative and superlative adjectives depend on the number of syllables in the adjective. For one-syllable adjectives, you usually add “-er” for the comparative form and “-est” for the superlative form. For two-syllable adjectives ending in “-y,” you change the “y” to an “i” and add “-er” or “-est.” For two-syllable adjectives not ending in “-y” and for adjectives with three or more syllables, you add “more” for the comparative form and “most” for the superlative form.
How do you use comparative and superlative adjectives in a sentence?
To use comparative and superlative adjectives in a sentence, you need to compare two or more things. For example, you can say “This book is more interesting than that book” or “This is the most interesting book I’ve ever read.”
What is the difference between a comparative and a superlative adjective?
A comparative adjective is used to compare two things, while a superlative adjective is used to compare three or more things. The comparative form usually ends in “-er,” while the superlative form usually ends in “-est” or uses “most.”