The comparative form of an adjective is commonly used to compare two people, things, or states, when you want to say that one thing has a larger or smaller amount of a quality than another.
- If the second part of the comparison is mentioned it follows than.
- Anna is taller than Mary but Mary is older.
- Emma is much slimmer than when I last saw her.
- Online learning is less expensive than conventional college courses.
- Comparison in which you are considering whether two people or things are equal is shown by using as…as in the affirmative and not as…as or not so…as in the negative.
The superlative form is used for more than two people, things, or states, when one thing has qualities that exceed all the others. Superlative adjectives have the in front of them, but it can be omitted in predicative positions.
- Helen is as tall as Linda, but not as strong.
There are two ways in which the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives are formed:
- That is the smallest camera I have ever seen.
- He gave the least expensive gift to his sister.
- I’ll have whichever is (the) ripest.
- You add -er (comparative) or -est (superlative) to the adjective. Adjectives with one syllable usually take these endings.
- If the word already ends in -e, the -e must be left off. If a word ends in -y, it usually takes -er or -est, and the -y changes to -i.
- You add the word more or most in front of the adjective. Adjectives with three syllables or more use more or most in front of the adjective.
Adjectives formed from participles use more or most as well.
|fortunate||more fortunate||the most fortunate|
|relevant||more relevant||the most relevant|
To indicate the opposite of both the -er/-est and the more/most forms of comparison, less or least is always used.
|provoking||more provoking||the most provoking|
|enthralled||more enthralled||the most enthralled|
|sharp||less sharp||the least sharp|
|fortunate||less fortunate||the least fortunate|
|interesting||less interesting||the least interesting|
|involved||less involved||the least involved|
Adjectives with two syllables (including those that already end in -er) can follow either pattern or sometimes both patterns. If you are doubtful about a two-syllable adjective, use the more/most pattern.
A small group of irregular adjectives have quite different forms for the comparative and superlative forms.
|or||more shallow||the most shallow|
|or||more polite||the most polite|