Comparative adjectives are used to compare differences between the two objects they modify; they are used in sentences where two nouns are compared.

Superlative adjectives are used to describe an object which is at the upper or lower limit of a quality; they are used in sentences where a subject is compared to a group of objects.

A.      Comparative and superlative adjectives (and adverbs) – regular form

A.1. To form the comparative of a short adjective or adverb we add –er + than:

Keith is taller than Bob.

                Bob’s house is grander than mine.

                Mike ran faster than Tom.

A.2. To form the superlative we add the… – est to the adjective (or adverb):

Sally is the tallest girl in the class.

                This pair of shoes is the cheapest in the shop.

If the short adjective (or adverb) ends in a single vowel and a consonant we double the consonant and add –er or –est:

hot – hotter – the hottest

                mad – madder – the maddest

If an adjective (or an adverb) ends in a consonant and an –e we add –r or –st:

large – larger – the largest

                fine – finer – the finest

If the adjective (or adverb) has two syllables and ends in a consonant sound, we usually use more or (the) most:

serious – more serious – the most serious

                patient – more patient – the most patient 

But if it ends in a vowel sound or l or r sound, we usually add (e)r, (e)st:

little – littler – the littlest

                yellow – yellower – the yellowest

If the adjective ends in –y we change it to –i and add –er or –est:

pretty – prettier – the prettiest

                ugly – uglier – the ugliest

But if an adverb ends in –ly we add more or the most before it:

sadly – more sadly – the most sadly

                quickly – more quickly  the most quickly

If the adjective (or adverb) has more than two syllables we add more for the comparative, and the most for the superlative:

exciting – more exciting – the most exciting

                monotonous – more monotonous – the most monotonous

Note: If we want to say that the difference between two things is very great we use much or far + comparative:

Lennie runs much faster than I do.

                She is far fitter than me.

B. Comparative and superlative adjectives (and adverbs) – irregular forms

Many of the most common adjectives (and adverbs) have irregular comparative and superlative forms:

good  better – the best                                                                   well – better – the best

bad – worse – the worst                                                                 badly – worse the – worst       

far – further/ farther – the furthest/ farthest                old – older/ elder – the oldest/ eldest

Let’s practise! :)

attractive            beautiful             big          cheap         comfortable                crazy                  crowded                exciting                               expensive          interesting         large            lively               luxurious                modern                               noisy                     old         old-fashioned         peaceful          quiet                 relaxing

Look at the pictures of the three hotels and compare them, using comparative and superlative forms of the adjectives in the box, plus any other adjectives you can think of.











Autor: Ana-Maria Hănţoiu, trainer A_BEST de limba engleză