Comparatives and Superlatives
Learn how to use comparative and superlative forms in English. In English we use the comparative form to compare two things. The superlative in English is used to speak about something of the highest order, quality or degree.
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Learn when and why use comparatives and superlatives in English!
We use the ‘comparative‘ when we compare two things.
We use the ‘superlative‘ when we speak about something of the highest order, quality or degree.
Learn how to use comparatives and superlatives in English for “short” adjectives!
When we have “short” adjectives, usually one or two syllables, we add “-er + than“ to form the comparative and “the + -est“ to form the superlative.
Examples of “short” adjectives are: big, small, large, hot, nice, cheap, long, tall…
|Comparative: -ER + THAN||Superlative: THE + -EST|
| France is big.|
A Honda Civic is small.
A cheeseburger is large.
| The USA is bigger than France.|
A Mini Cooper is smaller than a Honda Civic.
A double cheeseburger is larger than a cheeseburger.
| Russia is the biggest country in the world.|
A Smart Car is the smallest.
A Big Mac is the largest item on the menu.
1. If a word ends with a consonant-vowel-consonant, double the last letter (except if the word ends with a w, x, or z).
FOR EXAMPLE: Big = Bigger, Biggest, Small = Smaller, Smallest, Hot = Hotter, Hottest.
2. If the adjective ends in “e”, just add “r” or ‘st’.
FOR EXAMPLE: Large = Larger, Largest, Nice = Nicer, Nicest
Learn how to use comparatives and superlatives in English for “long” adjectives!
When we have “long” adjectives, usually two or more syllables, we add “more + than“ to form the comparative and “the + -most“ to form the superlative.
Examples of “long” adjectives are: fa/mous, ex/pen/sive, im/por/tant …
Comparative: MORE + THAN
Superlative: THE + MOST
Berlusconi is famous.
A car is expensive.
A mayor is important.
Michael Jackson is more famous than Berlusconi.
A BMW is more expensive than a Honda.
A senator is more important than a mayor in the USA.
Marilyn Monroe was the most famous person in the 1960’s.
A Ferrari is the most expensive car in the world.
The president is the most important person in the USA.
1. If a word ends with a y, replace it with –ier in the comparative form, and –iest in the superlative form.
FOR EXAMPLE: Pretty = Prettier, Prettiest Easy = Easier, Easiest
Comparative and Superlative: Common Exceptions
Below are some of the common exceptions that don’t follow the rules above.
Good: My test score is good.
Her test score is better than mine.
Ruth’s test score is the best in the class.
Bad: The weather is bad.
Yesterday, the weather was worse than today.
Two days ago, the weather was the worst.
Further than / Farther than
The furthest / The farthest
Comparative & Superlative Exercises and Practice
Complete the sentences with the most appropriate comparative or superlative phrase of the adjective given.
1. Mary is _______________________________ (lazy) student in the class.
2. Rob’s apartment is _______________________________ (nice) mine.
3. Elephants are _______________________________ (fat) camels.
4. Miami is _______________________________ (superficial) city in the U.S.
5. Kim is _______________________________ (small) of all my friends.
6. I think tornadoes are _______________________________ (bad) hurricanes because they occur
more often and are much more unpredictable.
7. Laura speaks English _______________________________ (good) Susan.