Comparatives and superlatives

Grammar

comparatives and superlatives

Comparatives

When we want to compare two things or people, we use comparative adjectives. We have different rules for 1 syllable words and the words with more syllables

One syllable

For one syllable words, we add er to the end of the adjective and after that adjective, we use than, for example, smarter than

Two ro more syllables

For the adjectives with two or more syllables, we use more or less before the adjective instead of er, and after the adjective we use than, for example, more expensive than

Superlatives

When we want to compare more than two things, it means comparing one thing with all the others, we use superlative adjectives

One syllable

For one syllable words, we add the plus -est to the end of the adjective, for example, the tallest

Two or more syllables

For the adjectives with two or more syllables, we use the most or the least before the adjective, for example, the most famous or the least popular

Learning grammar is fun. Enjoy it.

Examples

  • Phil is funny.
  • Jay is funnier than Phil.
  • Alex is the funniest.

Examples

  • John is strong.
  • Joe is stronger than John.
  • Jack is the strongest.

Examples

  • A bike is fast. 
  • A car is faster than a bike.
  • A plane is faster the fastest vehicle.

Examples

  • The blue snail is slow.
  • The gray snail is slower than the blue snail.
  • The brown snail is the slowest.

Examples

  • This stone is heavy.
  • That stone is heavier than this one.
  • That big stone is the heaviest one.

Examples

  • Joe is old.
  • John is older than Joe.
  • Sara is the oldest one in the family.
Superlatives

As I mentioned before, superlatives with two or more syllables are different from the one syllable ones. For the adjectives with more than one syllable, we ads the most or the least before the adjective to compare it with all the others

Exceptions

Superlative and comparative adjectives have some exceptions. In some cases, you don't need to add -er or -est. You can see the exceptions in the photo

CVC

When the last three letters of the adjective are consonant, vowel, and consonant, we must double the last letter when we want to add -er or -est

Comparatives

When we have an adjective with more than one syllable, and we want to use that adjective to compare two things, we use more or less before that adjective

Notes:

  • Some two syllable adjectives can be used with either er/est or more/most. These adjectives include:

angry

clever

common

cruel

friendly

gentle

handsome

narrow

pleasant

polite

quite

simple

sour

  • Both farther and further are used to compare physical distances. ‘further’ also means additional, and farther can’t be used when the meaning is additional. 

Some examples:

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask. (It means additional; you can’t use farther here)

Which is farther/further from here: the subway or the bus station?

I don’t want to cause you any further trouble. (It means additional; you can’t use farther here)

I ran farther/further than my friend did.

Completing a comparative

  • In formal English, a subject pronoun(e.g., I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they) follows than. Frequently an auxiliary verb follows the subject after than.

I am younger than my brother is.

I am older than she is.

She is prettier than I am.

I can spell much better than she can.

I got there earlier than she did.

  • In everyday, informal spoken English, an object pronoun (e.g., me, your, him, her, it, us, you, them) often follows than. 

I am younger than him.

I am older than her.

She is prettier than me.

I can spell much better than her.

I got there earlier than her.

  • A possessive noun(e.g., John’s, Sara’s) or a possessive pronoun (e.g., mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, yours, theirs) may follow than.

John’s hair is longer than Jack’s.

Sara’s house is smaller than mine.

My classes are easier than hers.

Her classes are more difficult than Kate’s.

Modifying comparatives

  • Very often modifies adjectives, but it is not used to modify comparative adjectives or adverbs.

The weather is very cold.

She is very nice.

He was very happy.

  • Much, a lot,  far, a little, and a little bit are used to modify adjectives or adverbs.

The weather is much/a lot/far hotter today than yesterday.

He drives much/a lot/far more carefully than his brother does.

An airplane is much/more/far faster than a car.

He is a little/a little bit older than I am.

Learning Japanese is much/a lot/ far more difficult than learning English.

Using double comparatives

A double comparative has two parts; both parts begin with ‘the’, and the second part of the comparison is the result of the first part.

  • The harder you study, the more you will learn.
  • The more he studied, the more he learned.
  • The warmer the weather (is), the more I like it.
  • The less you worry about the others, the less they will bother you. 
  • The less money you spend, the less you have to worry about saving.
  • The more time you take, the better you will get.

There are two common expressions with this structure. 

  • The more, the merrier
  • The sooner, the better

Examples:

Should I ask my friend to join us? 

Why not! The more, the merrier.

When should they leave?

The sooner, the better.

Repeating a comparative

Repeating a comparative gives the idea that something becomes progressively greater. It may increase in quality, quantity, or intensity.

  • Because he was afraid, he walked faster and faster. 
  • Because she was in a hurry, she talked faster and faster. 
  • Life in the modern world is getting more and more complicated.
  • The weather is getting colder and colder. 
  • Water pollution is getting worse and worse. 
  • Her English is getting better and better. 

Using more with nouns

When more is used with nouns, it often has the meaning of additional; it is not necessary to use than after it. 

  • Would you like some more tea?
  • I expected more people to be here.
  • I need more rice.
  • You should eat more fruit.
  • There are more books to read in the library.

More is also used with nouns to make complete comparisons by adding than. 

  • There are more people in China than there are in the united states.
  • I have more toys than he has. 
  • She has more children than Sara. 

When the meaning is clear, the noun might be omitted and more can be used by itself.

  • Do you have enough coffee, or would you like some more?
  • Did you eat enough food, or do you want some more?

Making comparisons with 'as.......as'

As….as shows that the two parts of a comparison are the same in some way. We can use as +adjective + as or as+ adverb+ as.

  • She is as tall as her sister.
  • Your husband is as old as you. 
  • He ran as quickly as he could.
  • She was as beautiful as I thought she would be. 

Negative form is ‘not as …..as’. Just, almost, quite and nearly are often used with the negative form. 

  • He is not as old as me.
  • He is not as tall as his brother. 
  • He is not quite as old as his sister. 
  • Julie is 3. She is not  nearly as old as her sister.
  • He is not just as old as his sister. 
  • He is almost as old as his brother. 

 

Exercises

Put the adjectives between brackets in the correct form. (comparative or superlative)

  1. My brother has a (tidy)  room than me.
  2. Australia is (big)  than England.
  3. I’m (good)  now than yesterday.
  4. She’s got (little)  money than you, but she doesn’t care.
  5. He thinks Chinese is (difficult)  language in the world
  6. Valencia played (bad)  than Real Madrid yesterday.
  7. Cats are not (intelligent)  as dogs.
  8. Show me (good)  restaurant downtown.
  9. (hot)  desert of all is the Sahara and it’s in Africa.
  10. Who is (talkative)  person in your family?
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Reyhane Alizade

1.Tidier
2.bigger
3.better
4.less
5.the most difficult
6.worse
7.as intelligent as
8.the best
9.the hottest
10.the most talkative

maryam kheibary

1. tidier
2.bigger
3.better
4.less
5.the most difficult
6.worse
7.as intelligent as
8.the best
9.the hottest
10.the most talkative

samira alitaneh

1.Tidier
2.bigger
3.better
4.less
5.the most difficult
6.worse
7.as intelligent as
8.the best
9.the hottest
10.the most talkative

Zeinab Hasani

1.tidier
2.bigger
3.better
4.less
5.the most difficult
6.worse
7.as intelligent
8.the best
9.the hottest
10.the most talkative

zahra hosseini

1.Tidier
2.bigger
3.better
4.less
5.the most difficult
6.worse
7.as intelligent as
8.the best
9.the hottest
10.the most talkative

Rezasoltani

1.Tidier
2.bigger
3.better
4.less
5.the most difficult
6.worse
7.as intelligent as
8.the best
9.the hottest
10.the most talkative

Zeinab Karimian

1-tidier
2-bigger
3-better
4-less
5-the most difficult
6-worse
7-as intelligent as
8-the best
9-the hottest
10-the most talkative

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