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Comparison of Adjectives

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Comparison of Adjectives

An adjective is a modifying word used with a noun or pronoun. Comparison of adjectives means to express more or less of a quality of someone or something. There are three degrees of comparison. 

The Positive Degree of Adjectives 

The base form of an adjective is called a positive degree. This form of an adjective denotes the simple quality, and it is used when we do not need any comparison. In the following examples, all the adjectives are used to their positive degree.

  • Ahmad is a beautiful boy.
  • She has a lucky friend.
  • This mango is nice and juicy.
  • There are many tall buildings in that city.
The positive degree is also used to express equality in quality. In this case, the adjective comes in this order.
As + adjective + as

Examples
Hakeem is as beautiful as his sister.
The baby is as beautiful as a flower.
His face is as white as snow.
My car can't run as fast as yours.
He'll soon be as tall as his other brothers.

Negative Form: Not as + adjective + as

Examples
Today is not as sunny as yesterday.
My shoes are not as expensive as yours.
This mango is not as sweet as that one.
He is not as polite as his brother.

The Comparative Degree of Adjectives 

The comparative degree is used to denote a higher or lower degree of quality. To compare two things or a set of things, the comparative degree of that adjective should be used. The word "than" is used after the comparative degree to introduce the thing that the subject is being compared to.

Examples
  • It is colder this night.
  • He is more careful than his father.
  • His health is getting better day by day.
  • You are luckier than me.

The Superlative Degree of Adjectives 

The form of adjective which denotes the highest or lowest degree of the quality is known as a superlative degree. It expresses the things or persons which possess more or less of the specific quality than anything or anyone else of the same kind.

Examples
  • Suliman is the strongest king of the 15th century.
  • She is the most beautiful woman.
  • Where is the nearest petrol pump?
  • I am the youngest of our family.
  • He is the richest of all.
  • That was the largest city we have ever visited.
  • June is the hottest month of the year.
  • She bought the most expensive clothes.

Rules of Comparative and Superlative Degree of Adjectives 

The formation of the comparative and superlative degree of adjectives mostly depends on the ending of the positive degree. But with many adjectives, we can form their comparative and superlative without any specified rules for their formation.

Most monosyllabic and some adjectives with two syllables form their comparative degree by adding -er to the base form of the adjective and form superlative by adding -est to the comparative.

Positive Comparative Superlative
Cold Colder Coldest
Low Lower Lowest
Strong Stronger Strongest
Poor Poorer Poorest
Warm Warmer Warmest

When the positive degree ends in e, rst” is added to form the comparative and superlative degree.

Positive Comparative Superlative
Ripe Riper Ripest
True Truer Truest
Late Later Latest
Simple Simpler Simplest
Brave Braver Bravest
Noble Nobler Noblest
Fine Finer Finest
Wide Wider Widest
Close Closer Closest
Large Larger Largest
Safe Safer Safest
Nice Nicer Nicest
Rude Ruder Rudest

To form the comparative and superlative of one-syllable adjectives preceded by a single vowel, add "-er" or "-est" and double the consonant that an adjective ends with.

Positive Comparative Superlative
Big Bigger Biggest
Sad Sadder Saddest
Hot Hotter Hottest
Thine Thinner Thinnest
Wet Wetter Wettest
Slim Slimmer Slimmest
Mad Madder Maddest
Dim Dimmer Dimmest
Flat Flatter Flattest

But the final consonant is not doubled before adding "-er" and "-est" if another consonant or double vowels precede it.

Positive Comparative Superlative
Hard Harder Hardest
Warm Warmer Warmest
Dark Darker Darkest
Small Smaller Smallest
Weak Weaker Weakest


When the adjective end in -y change the -y into “i” and add -er and -est

Positive Comparative Superlative
Happy Happier Happiest
Ugly Uglier Ugliest
Easy Easier Easiest
Pretty Prettier Prettiest
Lazy Lazier Laziest
Funny Funnier Funniest
Dirty Dirtier Dirtiest
Noisy Nosier Nosiest
Lovely Lovelier Loveliest
Tidy Tidier Tidiest
Friendly Friendlier Friendliest
Tiny Tinier Tiniest
Naughty Naughtier Naughtiest
Dry Drier Driest
Empty Emptier Emptiest
Early Earlier Earliest


Many adjectives have three or more syllables which we call long adjectives. Adjectives that have two syllables but do not end in y also fall in this group. With such adjectives, the comparative and superlative are formed using more and most before them.

Positive Comparative Superlative
Courageous More Courageous Most Courageous
Wonderful More Wonderful More Wonderful
Splendid More Splendid Most Splendid
Comfortable More Comfortable Most Comfortable
Difficult More Difficult Most Difficult
Famous More Famous Most Famous
Delicious More Delicious Most Delicious
Specific More Specific Most Specific
Miserable More Miserable Most Miserable
Efficient More Efficient Most Efficient
Accurate More Accurate Most Accurate
Useful More Useful Most Useful
Intelligent More Intelligent Most Intelligent
Foolish More Foolish Most Foolish
Generous More Generous Most Generous
Careless More Careless Most Careless
Dangerous More Dangerous Most Dangerous
Active More Active Most Active
Cheerful More Cheerful Most Cheerful
Charming More Charming Most Charming


Note: To get the opposite meaning, replace more by "less" and most by "least."

Irregular Degree of Comparison 

With Some adjectives, the comparative and superlative forms are entirely different from the base form called irregular comparison.

Positive Comparative Superlative
Good/well Better Best
Much (quantity) More Most
Many (number) More Most
Fore Former Foremost (first)
Few Less Least
Far Farther/further Farthest/furthest
Little Less Least
Old Older/elder Oldest/eldest


The following adjectives either take -er and -est or more and most in forming their comparative and superlative degrees, respectively.
Angry
Busy
Gentle
Clever
Common
Cruel
Mature
Hungary
Handsome
Likely
Narrow
Polite
Pleasant
Obscure
Quiet
Simple
Shallow
Stupid
Subtle
Remote 

Examples
  • He is cleverer/more clever than him.
  • It is the simplest/most simple question of all.
Some adjectives show absolute position; such adjectives do not have comparative and superlative forms. for example

perfect
ideal
universal
extreme
complete
entire
chief
excellent
absolute
impossible
supreme
unique

Modifying Adjective Comparison

Sometimes we need to make the adjective comparison stronger or weaker. To do this, we need to put a modifying word before the comparative adjective. 

Examples
  • He is much stronger than me.
  • She is a bit taller than her brother.
  • The laptop is a lot more expensive than the tablet.
  • My shoes are slightly simpler than yours.

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