Comparison of Adjectives

Positive Degree

We use the Positive Degree to compare two equal persons or things. ‘As’ is used before and after the adjective (as … as).

Examples: ‘as big as’, ‘as small as’, ‘as tall as’, ‘as short as’, ‘as clever as’, ‘as young as’, etc.

John runs as fast as I.

Your bicycle is as new as Mary’s.

Alan is as naughty as Nicholas.

This job is as easy as that.

Abby’s dictionary is as thick as Dora’s.

Mr. Charles is as wealthy as Mr. Peterson.


Comparative Degree

We use the Comparative Degree to compare two unequal persons or things. The comparative of an adjective is normally formed by adding ‘er’ to the adjective, followed by ‘than’ (…er than).

Examples:

strong - stronger than

weak - weaker than

quiet - quieter than

rich - richer than

poor - poorer than

clean - cleaner than

Pamela is fairer than Patsy.

Steve is taller than James.

My chair is lighter than yours.

Pond A is deeper than Pond B.

Your handwriting is neater than mine.

Mrs. Donovan’s house is cleaner than Mrs. Newman’s.


We form the comparative of some adjectives, especially those that end in ‘ful’ and those with three or more syllables, by adding ‘more’ before the adjectives and ‘than’ after them (more … than).

Examples:

useful – more useful than

beautiful – more beautiful than

forgetful – more forgetful than

interesting – more interesting than

important – more important than

comfortable – more comfortable than

Jonathan’s painting is more beautiful than his brother’s.

I can see that your gadget is more useful than mine.

This story is more interesting than the one I read yesterday.

The new sofa is certainly more comfortable than the old one.




Superlative Degree

We use the Superlative Degree to compare three or more unequal persons or things. The superlative of an adjective is normally formed by adding ‘the’ before the adjective, followed by the adjective with ‘est’ added (the …est).

Examples:

high - the highest

low - the lowest

dark - the darkest

thin - the thinnest

heavy - the heaviest

safe - the safest

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

This is the widest road in this city.

Chloe is the prettiest girl in my class.

The cheetah is the fastest of all animals.

This is the longest zip that I have ever seen.

Pete is the eldest child in his family.


We form the superlative of some adjectives, especially those that end in ‘ful’ and those with three or more syllables, by adding ‘the most’ before the adjectives (the most ...).

Examples:

skillful – the most skillful

wonderful – the most wonderful

careful – the most careful

dangerous – the most dangerous

talkative – the most talkative

difficult – the most difficult

Walter is the most skillful of all the workers here.

You’ve just given me the most wonderful present in the world.

Gold is the most valuable metal on earth.

This medicine is the most effective treatment for your illness.


*The comparative and superlative of some adjectives are irregularly formed.

Examples:

Positive Comparative Superlative
good better than the best
bad worse than the worst
little less than the least
much more than the most
many more than the most

Amy’s command of English is as good as Tracy’s.

Steven speaks better English than Harry.

Benny speaks the best English among the five friends.


Tom’s handwriting is as bad as William’s

Your handwriting is worse than mine.

Edwin’s handwriting is the worst among all of us.


*There are adjectives with two possible forms of comparison.

Examples:

Positive Comparative Superlative
common commoner than / more common than the commonest / the most common
handsome handsomer than / more handsome than the handsomest / the most handsome
likely likelier than / more likely than the likeliest / the most likely
pleasant pleasanter than / more pleasant than the pleasantest / the most pleasant
polite politer than / more polite than the politest / the most polite
simple simpler than / more simple than the simplest / the most simple
stupid stupider than / more stupid than the stupidest / the most stupid
subtle subtler than / more subtle than the subtlest / the most subtle
sure surer than / more sure than the surest / the most sure

John is handsomer than Tim. / John is more handsome than Jim.

To me, this the pleasantest place on earth. / To me, this is the most pleasant place on earth.

Ricky’s plan is simpler than Alan’s. / Ricky’s plan is more simple than Alan’s.

Stephanie is the politest lady in the office. / Stephanie is the most polite lady in the office.


Exercises

A. Fill in the blanks in the table.

Positive Comparative Superlative
brave braver bravest
wonderful more wonderful most wonderful
clean ____________ ____________
____________ shallower ____________
good ____________ ____________
____________ ____________ merriest
____________ tidier ____________
____________ ____________ most logical
young ____________ ____________
____________ more careful ____________
____________ ____________ lightest
bad ____________ ____________
____________ ____________ healthiest
____________ more important ____________
____________ ____________ the least
smooth ____________ ____________
____________ ____________ most beautiful
____________ wilder ____________
____________ ____________ most comfortable
____________ more ____________
slim ____________ ____________

B. Choose the right answers.

1. Your knife is as ( sharp, sharper ) as mine.

2. My grandfather is ( healthier, healthiest ) than my grandmother.

3. Daniel is the ( tall, tallest ) student in his class.

4. This lake is ( shallowest, shallower ) than the one behind my house.

5. Mrs. Richie’s culinary skills is ( bad, worse ) than Mrs. Carlisle’s.

6. Linda is a ( more popular, most popular ) singer than Janet.

7. Benedict is the ( fatter, fattest ) member in his family.

8. Tina’s necklace is as ( expensive, more expensive ) as mine.

9. A tortoise is ( slower, slowest ) than a snake but ( fast, faster ) than a snail.

10. The Nile River is the ( longer, longest ) river in the world.


C. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the adjectives in brackets.

1. Light travels (fast) than sound.

2. Leslie is as (intelligent) as Laura.

3. Of the three men, Mr. Parker is the (wealthy).

4. Jupiter is the (large) planet in the solar system.

5. Which suitcase is (suitable) for me – the blue one or the black one?

6. Look! My kite is flying (high) than yours.

7. Miss Angel is (strict) than Miss Belinda in class.

8. My kitten is as (cute) as yours.

9. Among the six of us, Timothy caught the (many) fish yesterday.

10. This movie is (exciting) than the one I saw last week.


D. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the adjectives in brackets.

1. I think keeping a dog as a pet is (good) than keeping a cat.

2. Which is the (ferocious) beast in the world?

3. The weather today is as (windy) as the weather yesterday.

4. This restaurant serves the (bad) food in town.

5. This is the (exciting) story that I have ever read.

6. Diamond is the (hard) substance on earth.

7. Gold is (valuable) than silver.

8. Marie is the (pretty) lady at the party.

9. The lamp in my room is as (bright) as the lamp in yours.

10. Traveling by air is (expensive) than traveling by land.


Answers

A.

Positive Comparative Superlative
brave braver bravest
wonderful more wonderful most wonderful
clean cleaner cleanest
shallow shallower shallowest
good better best
merry merrier merriest
tidy tidier tidiest
logical more logical most logical
young younger youngest
careful more careful most careful
light lighter lightest
bad worse worst
healthy healthier healthiest
important more important most important
little less than the least
smooth smoother smoothest
beautiful more beautiful most beautiful
wild wilder wildest
comfortable more comfortable most comfortable
many/much more most
slim slimmer slimmest

B.

1. sharp

2. healthier

3. tallest

4. shallower

5. worse

6. more popular

7. fattest

8. expensive

9. slower, faster

10. longest


C.

1. faster

2. intelligent

3. wealthiest

4. largest

5. more suitable

6. higher

7. stricter

8. cute

9. most

10. more exciting


D.

1. better

2. most ferocious

3. windy

4. worst

5. most exciting

6. hardest

7. more valuable

8. prettiest

9. bright

10. more expensive