The Comparative and Superlative
The comparatives and superlatives in English are formed by putting the word “more” (more) and “the more” (the most) before the adjective: necessary (necessary) | more necessary | the most necessary. Comparative and superlative examples
Comparatives and superlatives of inferiority are formed by putting “less” (less) and “least” (the less): necessary (necessary) | less necessary | the least necessary.
When the words are short, the ending “er” and “est” are added to the adjective.
Adjectives in the comparative degree
The comparative is used in English to compare differences between the two objects to which it modifies ( larger, smaller, faster, higher ). It is used in sentences where we compare two names, as follows:
Name (subject) + verb + adjective in comparative degree + than + name (object).
Adjectives in the superlative degree
The superlative is used to describe an object that is at the upper or lower end of quality ( the tallest, the smallest, the fastest, the highest ). It is used in sentences in which we compare a subject with a group of objects, like here:
Name (subject) + verb + the + adjective in superlative degree + name (object).
Formation of regular comparatives and superlatives
In English, it is simple to form the comparative and the superlative of most adjectives. The form will depend on the number of syllables in the adjective. Comparative and superlative examples
ADJECTIVES OF A SYLLABLE
Add -er for the comparative and -est for the superlative. If the adjective ends in consonant + vowel + consonant, the last consonant must be repeated before adding the ending.
TWO SYLLABLE ADJECTIVES
The adjectives of two syllables can form the comparative by adding -er , like the adjectives of a syllable, or by placing more in front of the adjective, as with those of three syllables. Likewise, these adjectives can form the superlative by adding the ending -est or by putting most in front of the adjective. In many cases both forms are used, although one of the uses will be more common than the other. If we are not sure that an adjective can take the comparative or superlative terminations, it is better to use more and most . When an adjective with two syllables ends in y , it must be changed to i before adding the termination.
|tilted||more tilted||most tilted|
|tangled||more tangled||most tangled|
ADJECTIVES OF THREE SYLLABLES OR MORE
Adjectives of three syllables or more form the comparative by placing more before the adjective and the superlative by placing most . Comparative and superlative examples
|important||more important||most important|
|expensive||more expensive||most expensive|
COMPARATIVES AND IRREGULAR SUPERLATIVES
Some very common adjectives have irregular shapes in the comparative and superlative grades.
|far||further / farther||furthest / farthest|
Examples of regular comparatives and superlatives