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  ENGLISH GRAMMAR for ESL learners  


Comparative and Superlative Adjectives



Comparative adjectives are used to compare two things or people to each other.
  • A bus is bigger than a car.
  • Bill is older than Harry.
Superlative adjectives are used to compare one member of a group to the whole group.
  • The Nile is the longest river in the world.
  • In our class Maria is the oldest and Charlie is the youngest.
 Formation of comparative and superlative forms of adjectives  
Form Adjective Comparative Superlative
One syllable
Add : -er / -est to the adjective.
long
nice
hot
longer than
nicer than
hotter than
the longest
the nicest
the hottest
Two or more syllables
Add: more-less or most-least
before the adjective.
interesting
practical
more interesting than
less practical than
the most interesting
the least interesting
Two syllables ending in -y
The 'y' becomes 'i'
before -er/-est
funny
easy
happy
funnier than
easier than
happier than
the funniest
the easiest
the happiest
Irregular Adjectives good
bad
much/many
little
far
better than
worse than
more than
less than
farther/further than
the best
the worst
the most
the least
the farthest/furthest
Please note:

1) Some two-syllable adjectives have two possible forms of comparison, for example:
  • commoner/more common
  • likelier/more likely
  • politer/more polite
  • simpler/more simple
  • stupider/more stupid
  • subtler/more subtle
2) Adjectives ending with a vowel and a consonant double the consonant, for example:
  • big  bigger  biggest
except when the consonant is 'w'or 'y' :
  • new   newer   newest

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