Lesson 12. The Complete Guide to Comparative and Superlative Adjectives in English
We use comparative adjectives to compare two objects. It is used to describe an object that has a higher degree of quality than another one. We can form comparative adjectives by ‘attaching the suffix –er to the adjective’ or ‘placing the word more before the adjective’.
Structure: Subject + Verb + Comparative Adjective + than + Object
Africa is bigger than Europe.
Carbon monoxide is more dangerous than carbon dioxide.
Prevention is better than cure.
When we want to describe an object that has more of the particular quality than anything or anyone else of the same type. We can form superlative adjectives by ‘attaching the suffix –est to the adjective’ or ‘placing the word the most before the adjective’.
Structure: Subject + Verb + the + Superlative Adjective + Object
Asia is the biggest continent in the world.
Sarin is one of the most dangerous gases.
This is the best birthday gift ever!
Regular Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
In general, forming comparative and superlative adjectives depend on the number of the syllable of the adjective.
For adjectives with one-syllable, we form the comparative and superlative by attaching the suffixes –er and -est, respectively.
If the adjective ends: consonant-vowel-consonant, doubled the last consonant.
If the adjective ends with -e, we only add the suffixes -r or -st.
For most of the two-syllable adjectives, including those with ending in -ful, -ed, -less, -ing, we form the comparative with more and superlative with the most.
|skillful||more skillful||the most skillful|
|crowded||more crowded||the most crowded|
|hopeless||more hopeless||the most hopeless|
|dazzling||more dazzling||the most dazzling|
If the adjective ends with -y, we change the -y into -i, and then add the suffixes -er or -est.
If the adjective ends with -er or -ow¸ attach the suffixes -er for comparatives and -est for superlatives.
A few two-syllable adjectives can form comparatives and superlatives using either -er/-est or more/the most forms. If you are not sure which one to use, you can always check on the dictionary. Using online dictionary will only cost you one minute!
|gentle||gentler/more gentle||the gentlest/the most gentle|
|simple||simpler/more simple||the simplest/the most simple|
Three or More Syllables
Adjective with three or more syllables always forms the comparative with more and superlative with the most.
|important||more important||the most important|
|exciting||more exciting||the most exciting|
Irregular Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
Some adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms.
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