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Comparative and Superlatives for Beginners

by Kenneth Beare
Updated March 30, 2017

The comparative and superlative forms in English compare and contrast different objects in English.

Basketball is more exciting than golf.


That house is bigger than mine.

Our friends have the nicest dog in the town.


She is the happiest person I know.

COMPARATIVE FORM
Use the comparative form to show the difference between two objects.

Examples:

New York is more exciting than Seattle.


His car is faster than Doug's.
Mary is happier than Anna.

Comparative Form
1 syllable adjective + -er She is faster than Mary.
2 + syllables more + adjective Jack is more handsome than Jerry.
2 syllables ending in -y drop -y from adjective +-ier That joke was funnier than mine.

COMPARATIVE FORM EXPLAINED


One Syllable Adjectives

Add '-er' to end of the adjective (Note: double the final consonant if preceded by a vowel) remove the 'y' from
the adjective and add 'ier'

Examples: slow - slower / high - higher

This book is cheaper than that book.


Tom is smarter than Derrick.

Two Syllable Adjectives Ending in '-y'

Drop '-y' and add '-ier' to two syllable adjectives ending in '-y'. Note adjectives ending in '-y' that are three
syllables or more take 'more' rather than '-ier'.

Example: happy - happier / funny - funnier

I am happier than you.


That joke was funnier than his joke.

Two, Three or More Syllable Adjectives

place 'more' before the adjective

Examples: interesting - more interesting / difficult - more difficult

London is more expensive than Madrid.


This test is more difficult than the last test.
Here is another chart showing how to construct the comparative form in English.

SUPERLATIVE FORM
Use the superlative form when speaking about three or more objects to show which object is 'the most' of
something.

Examples:

New York is the most exciting city in the USA.


Peter is the luckiest guy in the world.
That's the cleanest bathroom I've ever seen!

Superlative Form
1 syllable the + adjective + add -est That's the tallest building in New York.
2+ syllables the most + adjective Alice is the most interesting woman I've ever met.
2 syllables ending in -y drop -y from adjective +-iest Peter is the funniest guy in my class.

SUPERLATIVE FORM EXPLAINED


One Syllable Adjectives

Place 'the' before the adjective and add '-est' to end of the adjective (Note: double the final consonant if
preceded by a vowel)

Example: cheap - the cheapest / hot - the hottest / high - the highest

Today is the hottest day of the summer.


This book is the cheapest I can find.

Two, Three or More Syllable Adjectives

Place 'the most' before the adjective

Example: interesting - the most interesting / difficult - the most difficult

London is the most expensive city in England.


That is the most beautiful painting here.

Two Syllable Adjectives Ending in '-y' place 'the' before the adjective and remove the 'y' from the adjective and
add 'iest'

Example: happy - the happiest / funny - the funniest

New York is the noisiest city in the USA.


He is the most important person I know.

Here is a chart showing how to construct the superlative form in English:

IMPORTANT EXCEPTIONS
There are some important exceptions to these rules! Here are two of the most important exceptions:

good

good - adjective
better - comparative
the best - superlative
This book is better than that one.
This is the best school in the city.

bad

bad - adjective
worse - comparative
the worst - superlative

His French is worse than mine.


This is the worst day of my life.

Source: https://www.thoughtco.com/comparative-and-superlatives-for-beginners-1208966