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Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Comparatives and superlatives are adjective forms that are utilized for comparing two or more objects.

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

The most difficult aspect of utilizing comparatives and superlatives is ensuring that we write them correctly, but comparatives and superlatives may be rapidly mastered with a little practice.

In this post, we'll go over what comparatives and superlatives are, how to compose them correctly, and how to utilize them effectively in a statement.

What Are Comparative Adjectives?

Comparative Adjectives are adjectives that describe one noun by comparing it to the other noun. We normally think of 'er' terms as larger or smaller, but they can be somewhat more challenging.

The frequency of syllables in the adjective or whether or not the adjective finishes with the letter 'y' influence how we build comparative adjectives.

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

What Is a Superlative Adjective?

Superlative Adjectives are terms that characterize a noun in the greatest or lowest degree when compared to two or more nouns.

Consider the following phrases: tall, taller, tallest, or hot, hotter, hottest.

It's not always as easy and simple as attaching 'est' to comparison adjectives.

The number of syllables and whether the adjective finishes with the alphabet 'y' also play a role in determining how to build a superlative adjective.

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Adjectives with a single syllable

Let us have a look at the table below that shows the comparative and superlative types of the words. This table shows the forms for the most classic one-syllable adjectives, in which we attach 'er' for the comparative form and attach 'est' for the superlative form.

Note: Whenever the adjective comes after the CVC or consonant, vowel, then in such cases the consonant spelling, the final consonant will double.

Adjective Comparative Superlative
Tall Taller Tallest
Big Bigger Biggest
Small Smaller Smallest
Fast Faster Fastest

Comparative Adjectives:

  1. I'm faster than my colleague.
  2. Rajasthan is hotter than Delhi.

Superlative Adjectives:

  1. Mary is the tallest of the students.
  2. That's the shortest video in the sequence.

Take note of the terms that surround the comparative and superlative adjectives. Usually, comparatives are accompanied by the word 'than,' while most superlatives are accompanied by the term 'the.'

Adjectives with Two Syllables

Let's take a closer look at a chart that shows the comparative and superlative versions of the term for two-syllable adjectives.

Comparative adjectives with two syllables can be made by attaching the terms 'more' or 'less' prior to the adjective or by placing the 'er' at the end.

One must use the 'est' ending for the superlatives, but the words 'most' or 'least must be used instead of 'more' or 'less' for superlative adjectives.

Adjective Comparative Superlative
Happy Happier Happiest
Nervous More/Less Nervous Most/Least Nervous
Quiet Quieter More/Less Quiet Quietest/ Most/Least Quiet
Famous More/Less Famous Most/Least Famous
Modern More/Less Modern Most/Least Modern

In many circumstances, it should be noted that either type of the comparative or superlative can be employed, but there is a 'most popular' usage. Furthermore, as the example in the table illustrates, the adjective must not necessarily have an ending with 'y' to utilize or employ the suffix 'er' or 'est' . Your ears often understand and recognize what sounds right and accurate.

Comparative Adjectives:

  1. Sarah is less passive than her sister.
  2. This exam is easier than the earlier one.

Superlative Adjectives:

  1. The autumn holiday season is the
  2. That's the most rapid delivery system.

Take note of how comparative adjectives always have the term 'than,' before them and the superlative adjectives have the word 'the' prior to them.

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Adjectives with three or more syllables

In case of adjectives with three or more syllables, the table below illustrates the comparative and superlative variants of the words. We usually add the word 'more' or 'less' in front of a comparative adjective and 'most' or 'least' in front of a superlative adjective in these circumstances.

Adjective Comparative Superlative
Comfortable More/Less Comfortable Most/Least Comfortable
Delicious More/Less Delicious Most/Least Delicious
Interesting More/Less Interesting Most/Least Interesting
Wonderful More/Less Wonderful Most/Least Wonderful

Adjectives of Comparison:

  1. When it comes to exploring new things, I am more reluctant than my peers.
  2. The thundering music at the party was less bothersome than the high temperature.

Superlative Adverbs:

  1. Helen's third collection was the most exceptional among them all.
  2. These are the least comfortable tables and chairs I have ever used.
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Irregular Adjectives

It is significant to remember that a few irregular adjectives do not comply with the rules above when employing comparative and superlative adjectives.

These irregular adjectives and their comparative and superlative versions are depicted in the table below.

Adjective Comparative Superlative
Good Better Best
Bad Worse Worst
Far Further Furthest
Little Less Least
Many More Most
Well Better Best

Comparative Adjectives:

  1. I did better than the majority of my friends in the tournament.
  2. Mary ran farther in this marathon than she did in the earlier one.

Superlative Adjectives:

  1. That was the best wedding present I've ever received!
  2. I purchased the least expensive memento.

2 Tips for Identifying and Using Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Tip 1: Rearrange your sentences to use different adjective forms.

If we alter our statement to accommodate the adjective, we might utilize different forms of the adjective.

Here are some of the instances of one-syllable adjectives:

Comparative Example:

I moved faster than my classmate.

Let's restructure the sentence so that we can utilize the superlative form of the adjective.

Between my classmate and, I moved the fastest.

The comparison is still being done amongst the two individuals in this case, but because the nouns being compared are limited, we can utilise the superlative form of the adjectives. Take note that this sentence follows the other superlative feature of employing the word "the" just before the adjective.

Superlative Example:

That's the shortest video in the sequence.

Let's restructure the sentence so that one can utilize the comparative form of the adjectives.

That one was shorter than any other video in the sequence.

The comparison to two or more videos is still being made here, and we are still defining it to the most basic level. We can utilise the comparative type of the adjectives by putting 'any other' before 'video in the sequence.' This sentence now incorporates the other comparative feature of utilizing the term 'than' following the adjective.

Tip #2: Consider your spelling guidelines before using the comparative or superlative variant of an adjective.

When we modify the ending of a word, we must consider how the word is commonly spelled.

If the adjective already has an 'e' at the ending, only try adding 'r' for the comparative and 'st' for the superlative.

  1. Large changes to Larger or Largest.
  2. Safe changes to Safer or Safest.

Whenever the adjective ends in a consonant + short vowel + consonant (CVC), we usually double the last consonant.

  1. Thin is transformed into Thinner or Thinnest.
  2. Whereas the adjective fat becomes fatter or fattest.

If an adjective concludes in a 'y,' we transform the 'y' into an 'i.'

  1. Pretty changes to Prettier or Prettiest.
  2. Busy changes into Busier or Busiest.
  3. Heavy changes to Heavier or Heaviest.
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

When should comparative and superlative adjectives be used?

As previously stated, we employ comparative adjectives to compare two persons or items, and superlative adjectives are used for comparison of more than two people or things:

  1. A Labrador is larger than a Golden Retriever. (Comparing two things)
  2. The Labrador was the biggest of the park's ten canines. (Comparison of more than two items)

A superlative adjective is used when something or someone is being compared with every other participant in their group:

  1. This tower was the tallest structure that the corporation ever built.
  2. I personally believe lasagna is the yummiest out of all of the foods.

When using plural nouns or words/phrases that allude to a group as a single entity, you must exercise caution. Even when a word refers to several persons or items, we employ a comparative adjective when comparing two unique items, groupings, or divisions.

As an example:

I believe that strawberries are tastier than cherries. (The words strawberries and cherries relate to different types of fruit in this phrase. We use a comparative adjective since we are still comparing exactly two items.)

America has a larger land area than several European countries. (In this line, the word "several European countries" refers to a single group.

Even though America is being compared to numerous countries, we are only comparing two separate things grammatically. Therefore, we employ a comparative adjective.)

One must always be on the search for statements that contain conjunctions. Conjunctions are frequently used to connect numerous comparisons. Even in this scenario, we frequently employ comparative conjunction. As an example,

Christine is shorter than Bobby, Canica, and Heena.

Why do we use a comparative adjective in the preceding sentence when we plainly refer to more than 2 persons? Take a moment to reread the statement and pay proper attention to what it is saying.

This statement uses the conjunction to connect three distinct comparisons: instead of comparing the four persons to one another, we are contrasting Jessica to one and other individual three times. If we intended to use a superlative adjective alternatively, we could restate the statement without conjunction, comparing all four people:

Christine is the shortest member of her group of pals, which also includes Bobby, Canica, and Heena.

Finally, keep in mind that comparative and superlative adjectives may be employed interchangeably in idiomatic formulations. Have a glance at the below -mentioned two sentences:

  1. A hippopotamus is one of the biggest animals on the grassland.
  2. A hippopotamus is one of the bigger animals found on the grassland.

Do they sound correct to you? Probably! However, linguistically, the first is regarded as a nonstandard use since there can't be several "biggest animals." A group of animals is either the biggest, or it isn't. However, statements comparable to the first example are likely to be employed in both writing and speech. It conveys the same sense as the second sentence, but it emphasizes the size and mass of a hippopotamus more than the second statement does.

Review and Practice Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Now since you understand what comparative adjective and superlative adjective are and how to position them appropriately in a sentence, try identifying them and exploring for the appropriate use.

Remember that comparative adjectives describe a noun by making a comparison to another noun. Superlative adjectives characterize a noun, and provide comparison to two or more other nouns to the greatest or least degree.

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