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Define degrees of comparison List the types of degrees of comparison List the rules for degrees of comparison State

the correct degrees of comparison for given words

Degrees of Comparison in grammar

Topic Introduction

The Degrees of Comparison in English grammar are made with the Adjective and Adverb words to show how big or small, high or low, more or less, many or few, etc., of the qualities, numbers and positions of the nouns (persons, things and places) in comparison to the others mentioned in the other part of a sentence or expression. An Adjective is a word which qualifies (shows how big, small, great, many, few, etc.) a noun or a pronoun is in a sentence. An adjective can be attributive (comes before a noun) or predicative (comes in the predicate part): e.g. He is atallman. (tall adjective attributive) This man is tall. (tall adjective predicative) An Adverb is a word which adds to the meaning of the main verb (how it is done, when it is done, etc.) of a sentence or expression. It normally ends with ly, but there are some adverbs that are without ly: e.g. She ate her lunch quickly. He speaks clearly. They type fast. Kinds of comparison: 1. POSITIVE DEGREE: Tom is tall a boy. In this sentence the word tall is an adjective telling us how Tom is. There is no other person or thing in this sentence used to compare Tom with, but it is the general way of saying about persons, animals and things that they have some quality (here tallness) above average in general sense. The adjective word tall is said to be in the positive form. This comparison is called positive degree comparison. There are two more comparisons with the positive form of the adjective words. They are:

(i) Degree of Equality: This comparison is used to compare two persons, animals or things to tell us that they are equal having the same quality.

There are two cats with the same height and weight, and look the same except for the colour. Therefore we say: The brown cat is as beautiful as the grey cat. (= Both the cats are the same.) The word beautiful is an adjective in the positive form, and with the conjunction asas it expresses the degree of equality. (ii) Degree of Inequality: This comparison is used to compare two persons, animals or things to tell us that they are not equal not having the same quality. The brown cat is not so beautiful as the black & white cat. (= They are not the same.)

The word beautiful is an adjective in the positive form, and with the conjunction soas (and the negative not) it expresses the degree of inequality 2. COMPARATIVE DEGREE:

Tom is a tall boy.

Tom is taller than his sister.

In the second sentence the word taller is an adjective used to compare the tallness of these two persons Tom and his sister and to tell us that Tom has more of the quality of tallness. Therefore, an adjective word which shows the difference of quality between twotwo groups of persons, animals or things is said to be in the comparative form. persons, animals or things, or This comparison is called Comparative Degree. There are two more degrees of comparison with the comparative form of an adjective. They are: (i) Parallel Degree: This comparison is used to show that the qualities of two items (adjectives or adverbs) talked about in the given sentence go parallel, i.e. if one quality (adjective or adverb) increases, the other quality (adjective or adverb) increases, and if one quality decreases, the other quality also decreases.

The bigger the box, the heavier it is. (ii) Progressive Degree: This comparison is used to show that the quality of a thing (adjective or adverb) talked about in the given sentence increases as the time passes, for example: MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN

25 27 30 33 35 38 40

Its getting hotter and hotter day by day. [as the time passes the temperature increases] OR The days are getting hotter and hotter. 3. SUPERLATIVE DEGREE:

A musk ox is a large animal.

An elephant is larger than a musk ox.

The blue whale is the largest of all animals. The blue whale is the largest of all animals in the world. In this sentence the word (the) largest is an adjective used to compare the largeness of the blue whale and to tell us that the blue whale has the most quality of largeness. This comparison is used to compare one person, animal or thing with more than two persons, animals or things (the rest of the group of more than two), and to say that the particular one has the highest degree of that particular quality (here the comparison is between the blue whale and the rest of the animals, more than two). The adjective large is said to be in the superlative form. This comparison is called Superlative Degree. For power presentation slides on comparisons, click here on degrees.of.comparison. For continuity, please keep clicking after each feature in each slide.

______________ The next point to be considered is the forms of the adjectives and adverbs.

There are three forms positive form, comparative form and superlative form and seven degrees of comparison. That means we make seven degrees of comparison using the three forms of almost every adjective or adverb word. Therefore, it is important for us to discuss the forms before going any further into this topic. Most adjective or adverb words in their positive form take er to change to comparative and est to change to superlative form. However, the words ending in e take only r to change to comparative form and only st to change to superlative form. And there are other differences with words having different spelling. The meaning of an adjective or adverb in Comparative and Superlative form does not change; it is only the form that is changed but not the meaning. Therefore, depending on the spelling, the adjective or adverb words are separated into groups so that we can memorise the spellings of the words in their different forms easily. Positivecomparativesuperlative a) the words which end in e belong to his group and take only r in comparative form and st in superlative form: brave braver the bravest large larger the largest wise wiser the wisest b) the words which end in any letter other than e and/or y belong to this group and take er in comparative form and est in superlative from: sweet sweeter the sweetest tall taller the tallest young younger the youngest c) the words which end in y preceded by a consonant belong to this group; they lose the last letter y and take ier in the comparative form and iest in superlative form: happy happier the happiest easy easier the easiest heavy heavier the heaviest

The words which end in y preceded by a vowel, however, do not change their spelling but take r/er in comparative form and st/est in superlative form: e.g. gay gayer gayest (this word is now considered old-fashioned in the sense of happy; excited, and in the present day English it is used for male homosexual). d) the words which end in a consonant having a vowel before that consonant belong to this group, and have their last consonant letter doubled before taking er in comparative form and est in superlative form: red redder the reddest thin thinner the thinnest hot hotter the hottest e) the words which have two or morevowel sounds in them belong to this group, and take the word more before them in comparative form and the word (the) most in superlative form: beautiful difficult splendid more beautiful more difficult more splendid the most beautiful the most difficult the most splendid

f)the words in this group do not take any suffix or any other word before them, but change their spelling and pronunciation entirely to form new words with the same meaning, of course: good/well better the best bad/evil/ill worse the worst little less/lesser* the least much more the most many more the most late later/latter* the latest/last* old older/elder* the oldest/eldest* far farther the farthest fore former the foremost/first*

fore further the furthest in inner the inmost/inner most up upper the upmost/uppermost out outer/utter the utmost/utter most There are some words in the list that take more than one form in comparative and superlative form. Each of the two words gives a different meaning; therefore, it is best to know them well before going any further in this topic.

Late later, latter; latest, last; old elder, older; eldest, oldest Far farther, further; farthest, furthest; near nearest, next Later, latter; latest, last Later and latest refer to time Latter and last refer to position e.g. He is later than I expected. (recent news) (he has come late) I have not heard the latest news.

The latter chapters of the book are interesting. (order of position) The last chapter is bad. (order of position) [Suppose there are ten chapters in a book, the latter chapters could be Chapters 7,8,9& 10; the last chapter is chapter 10. latter is also used to talk about the second of the two people or things mentioned.] The word latter is, strictly speaking, used for only two persons or things; however, it is also used for three persons or things, as in the latter of the three, but in American English. Elder, older; eldest, oldest Elder and eldest are used only of persons seniority than age.

(they are used with members of the same family.) ** Elder is not used with conjunction than. Older and oldest are used of both persons and things time (age) e.g. John is my elder brother. Ahmed is his eldest son. (family relation seniority) Tom is older than his sister. (of people family relation age) Sarah is the oldest girl in the class. (of people no family relation age)

Town Hall is the oldest building in our town. (of things age) Tom is older than his sister. so Tom is her elder brother. and She is his younger sister. There are, however, some occasions where older and oldest are used for showing the seniority of members of the same family. Here we have a good example: Is Aunt Dee your oldest sister, Dad? (family relation seniority but oldest is used) Taken from BASIC SKILLS IN ENGLISH Book 6, by The Editorial Staff of McDougal, Littell and Company, USA _______________ [According to the traditional grammar rule, we are supposed to use the definite article 'the' before the superlative form of an adjective. However, here we have a classic example showing the article 'a' before the superlative form of an adjective by Moshe Riess: BIRTH AND GROWTH IN EGYPT The first we hear of Moses is that a man of the tribe of Levi marries a woman of the same tribe. This may the only time that the Torah mention that both parents are of the same tribe. In this to emphasis that despite Moses growing up as an Egyptian he is a Hebrew? They have a son. 1From this it would appear that Moses is a firstborn, but he has an older brother Aaron and an older sister Miriam. Thus Moses appears to be an oldest and a youngest. The Midrash has a different explanation. In Egypt a prophecy ...] _______________ Less/lesser These two words are the comparative forms of the word little. The difference is: less suggests amount, and lesser suggests degree showing

some negative sense in a choice of two! For example, She has less money than he (has). Which is the lesser of the two evils, drinking or smoking? [Both drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco are evils, but wed like to compare and decide which one is more harmful more negative -- in this choice of two!] Though there is a debate in the educated circles as to when and where to use which word, less or lesser, the learners at this basic level need not worry much about this pair, but keep an eye on these words and note down the examples whenever they come across these words. Foremost/first These two words are synonyms, i.e. either word can be used. However, there is some difference in their usage. Foremost means the best or the most important; in a top or leading position in a group of people or things; for example, Gerald Durrell is one of the foremost authorities on animal protection plans. Gerald Durrell is the first person to start a Trust (zoo) to protect the endangered species of animals from around the world Inmost/innermost ; upmost/uppermost; utmost/utter most These pairs of words are synonyms. There are sentences where both these words are used for the same context. Learners at this basic level need not worry about these pairs right now.

[Visit WORDS OFTEN CONFUSED under VOCABULARY for more sets of words that usually confuse us.] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Now lets discuss each Degree in some detail: The positive degree of an adjective or adverb is in its simple form. It is used to denote or say the mere existence of some quality of what we speak about. It is used when no comparison is

made, but just to point out that the quality is above average. [see figure 1] Tom is a tall boy. Here we have only one person and one quality; and Toms quality of being tall is above average. The comparative degree of an adjective or adverb denotes more degree of the quality than the positive degree, and is used when two persons, animals or things, or two sets/groups of persons, animals or things are compared with one another. [see figure 4] Tom is tallerthan his sister. Here we have two persons Tom and his sister and the comparison is made to show that one is more in the quality of being tall than the other. The word than is the conjunction we must use in the comparative degree. In fact the example sentence in full is: Tom is taller than his sister is tall. The predicate part in the subordinate clause (is tall) is normally not mentioned but understood. Please see item (f) under Some Extraordinary Rules. The superlative degree of an adjective or adverb denotes the most degree of the quality, and is used for more than two persons, animals or things one against the rest one having the highest degree of the quality in/of the rest. The Definite Article the is used before the adjective word in its superlative form, and the preposition of is used with people, animals and things and in or under with places and position. [see figure 7] The blue whale is the largestof all the animals in the world. Here we have the blue whale and the rest of the animals, and the blue whale has the quality of being large in the highest degree (above all others) the supreme. The Definite Article the is not used with the superlative form most when it is used to mean very, and when it is used to indicate the possession of a quality in a very high degree but without any comparison: This is most unfortunate. A most ingenious idea! Note that it is not the definite article the that is always used before the superlative form of an adjective or adverb. The demonstrative adjective or the possessive adjective is also used depending on the context! e.g. Our football player is in his best form this season. The degree of equality of an adjective or adverb is used when two things are compared with a quality to show that they both have the same degree of that quality. It is almost like saying that they both are the same. [see figure 2] The positive form of the adjective or adverb word is used with the conjunction asas. For example: This building is as tallas the next one. In other words The two buildings are the same in height. The degree of inequality of an adjective or adverb is to show that two persons, animals or things are not the same in having a quality. [see figure 3] The positive form of the adjective or adverb word is used with the conjunction soas. For example, The male dancer is not so graceful as the female dancer. They are not the same in being graceful. This comparison is almost the same as the Comparative Degree: The female dancer is more graceful than the male dancer. Or The male dancer is less graceful than the female dancer. The conjunction in the Degree of equality is asas, but in the Degree of inequality the conjunction used is soas. In spoken English the conjunction asas is accepted even in the Degree of Inequality; in written or formal British English, however, only soas is accepted. Not everyone accepts or follows this rule!

The parallel degree is a comparison having two adjectives or adverbs one dependent on the other which means when one activity with one adjective or adverb increases or decreases the other activity with another adjective or adverb also increases or decreases. [see figure 5] For example, Thehigher you climb, the more difficult you will feel. Here we have two adjectives high and difficult, and when the height of a hill (or a ramp) increases, the difficulty in climbing also increases, and when the height decreases, the difficulty also decreases. The comparative formof the adjectives or adverbs is used in this comparison, and the most important point to remember is that the article the is used before the comparative form of the adjective or adverb words the higher and the more difficult. {In the comparative degree, the comparative form of and adjective or adverb is not used with any article! For example, This hill is higher than that hill. you notice that the article the is not used before higher.} So, what we understand from these examples is that in Comparative Degree the comparative form of an adjective or adverb word is notused with any article in the Parallel Degree, however, we should use the article the before the comparative form of the adjective or adverb word! Some dictionaries categorise the article the in this parallel degree comparison as an adverb; some others say this use of article the before a word in its comparative form is idiomatic (an idiom), and yet some other dictionaries accept this as comparative degree! The progressive degree of an adjective or adverb is used to show that some quality is on the increase or decrease as the time or some other course of action passes. [see figure 6] The comparative form of the word is repeated, using the conjunction and, without any article. The patient is getting weaker and weaker day by day. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ SOME EXTRAORDINARY RULES There are some exceptions to some of the rules we have already discussed, and it is necessary for any learner to know them and apply them whenever they are needed. *In case you find the following rules difficult to understand right now, please leave them out for the time being and proceed to the other items and try to understand them, and once the other points in those items are clearly understood, then you can come back to these rules to revise them one by one.

1. The comparative form with r or er in Comparative Degree is not used when we compare two qualities in the same person, animal or thing:

e.g. Mr. George is more fast than skillful. George One player; two qualities fast & skillful fast being more In the example above, we have only one person, Mr. George, and two qualities fast and skillful in him; and we are comparing those two qualities to say that he has one quality more than the other fast being more than skillful. So in such cases we do not use the original comparative form with r or er though the adjective has the form, but use more before the word in its positive form. That is to say the adjective word fast has faster for its comparative form, but we have not used it here because we are not comparing Mr. George with anybody else, but are comparing the two qualities Mr. George has in him! Mr. George runs fasterthan Mr. David. two players George & David one quality fast George has more faster In this sentence Mr. George is compared with another person called Mr. David, and the quality being only one fast, it is used in its comparative form faster.

Here is a classic example from the book The Rare Birds of Southern Africa by Dr. Phillip Alexander Clancy, published by Winchester Press Ltd., 1985: Due to its secretive habits, (the bird is) generally considered more rare than it is. 2. When two persons, animals or things of the same group or kind are compared with each other, the latter (i.e. the second of the two) of the comparison must exclude the former (i.e. the first of the two): e.g. Iron is more useful than any other metal. {Remember iron is a metal.} The phrase any other shows that the metal iron is separated from the other metals in this context. Suppose the expression is put in this way: Iron is more useful than any metal. [without the word other], it will be the same as saying: Iron is more useful than iron. which is meaningless because iron is itself a metal! Compare:

Mary is cleverer than any boy in the class. [without other]

This expression (sentence) is accepted because Mary is a girl and she is compared with boys who are not her (gender) kind or group. Mary is cleverer than any girl in the class. (wrong) This expression (sentence) is not accepted because Mary is a girl and she is compared with her own kind or group. Therefore, this expression should be: Mary is cleverer than any other girl in the class. 3. With the superlative form of the adjective or adverb in the Superlative Degree, the article the must be used before the form with almost all the adjectives and adverbs. There are, however, a couple of words which do not take the article the before them in some special expressions. One word most has already been mentioned in the explanation for the Superlative Degree; the other one is best which needs to be dealt with separately. For example, in the expression with best wishes we do not use the article the before best. So it is advisable to refer to a dictionary to learn about best and most in detail. ____________________________________

As rule number 4 is related to the PERSONAL PRONOUNS, we need to revise this topic thoroughly. Please go to the topic Personal Pronouns. However, the following table and the short description below it may help us to take a quick look at the PERSONAL PRONOUNS: Person = 1st person the person speaking or narrating something 2nd person the person spoken to (the person listening to the speaker) 3rd person the rest of all the persons, animals and things that are talked about excluding the 1st and the 2nd persons

Number = singular only one person, animal or thing; plural more than one person, animal or thing (two, ten, a hundred, a million, etc.)

Gender = {masculine gender & feminine gender} (the sex of the person or animal) male or female = boy or girl, man or woman neuter very young babies of people; all the animals when spoken in general and all the things; not man, not woman common gender either man or woman; for example, A teacher is a person who teaches. A teacher can be a man or a woman, so it is common gender.

CASE: nominative case = person, animal or thing that comes before the verb and does an action in a sentence e.g. He is a good boy. [He is the subject in this sentence.]

objective case = person, animal or thing that comes after the verb or preposition in a sentence e.g. He gave her a book. [Her is the object of the verb gave.]

He gave a book to her. [Her is the object of the preposition to]

possessive case = used to show that something belongs somebody or something e.g. This is my book. This book is mine. My, our, your, your, his, her, its, their, their and their are called POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES because they are always used before nouns. Mine, ours, yours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs, theirs, and theirs are called POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS because they are used without nouns after them; the nouns whose possession they show are placed somewhere else in the sentence (expression). Reflexive pronouns = the action of a subject in the sentence comes back to the doer of the action when we use these Reflexive pronouns {They are also called reciprocal pronouns, but the function is different.} e.g. I painted this picture myself. [My and mine show that the book belongs to me.]

[Myself in this sentence shows that the subject I did the action of painting the picture, not bought or get somebody paint it for me. The action does not pass to any other object but comes back to the subject] They taught themselves. [Themselves in this sentence shows that the subject they did not get their education from any teacher or they did not teach anybody else, but got their education on their own.]

4. Nominative (subjective) Case or Accusative (objective) Case or Possessive (genitive) Case? There is a chance of our getting confused when using personal pronouns after than in comparative degree because the personal pronouns take different forms in different cases. For instance, the First Person Personal Pronoun in the Nominative Case is I, the same pronoun word in the Objective case (Accusative Case) is me and again in the Genitive Case it is my/mine. Therefore, while using them after the conjunction than in the comparative degree, we are bound to make some mistakes in placing the case of the pronoun in its right form. The following rules may clear some of the confusion: a) When we compare two persons with one adjective or adverb in Comparative Degree, the PRONOUN used after than must be in Nominative Case (subjective case). This is considered formal English. e.g. He speaks more fluently thanI. [I is the nominative case] = He speaks more fluently than I speak. In this sentence He speaks more fluently than me speak. sounds silly. [me is the Objective Case of the pronoun I] Nevertheless, the Objective Case form of the pronoun is also used by many people, including some grammarians. This is considered informal or spoken English. For example: He is taller than me. The famous grammarian, John Silverlight, accepted the use of Objective Case of the Pronoun when the context demands a nominative case form in his book More Words (page 123) quoting a letter from Mr. Gideon Cohen Jerusalem, himself a famous person.

Therefore, we can say: She has more money than he. [he in nominative case form]

She has more money than he has. Or *She has more money than him. [him in objective case form] {Sentences of this type are not very clear; there is bound to be some confusion} b) But the objective case form is the only form to be used in cases like this one: Peter likes his books more than her. [here her could be a girl he knows] Explanation: Peter likes his books 80% Peter likes her 20% only

This sentence, if written in full is: Peter likes his books better than he (Peter) likes her. Therefore, in this expression only the objective case her should be used. Lets analyse another sentence: James talked more about drinks than them. [here them could be his friends or associates] them is the objective case of pronoun they James talked about drinks 80% James talked about them 20% only James talked about drinks more than they. [more than they talked about drinks] they is the nominative case form James talked about drinks 80% They talked about drinks 20% only {Therefore, it is to be understood that the case of the pronoun in Comparatives changes the meaning of the sentence.} c) When the former (the first of the two persons, animals or things) in Comparative Degree is in the POSSESSIVE CASE, the latter (the second of the two persons, animals or things) must be in the possessive case: For example,

1. Abes book is more expensive than Jessica.

[wrong]

[Abes is in the possessive case, but Jessica is not in possessive case] Therefore, this sentence should be Abes book is more expensive than Jessicas (book). 2. His car is bigger than them. [wrong] [His car is in possessive case, but them is in objective case] Therefore, this sentence should be His car is bigger than their car. OR His car is bigger than theirs. d) When comparisons of actions are made with GERUND or TO-INFINITIVE, the NON-FINITE form must be used in both the clauses of the sentence: For example: 1. Riding a horse is not so easy as a motor bike. [wrong] (riding Gerundial form of the verb ride; in the second part no gerundial form Therefore, this sentence should be Riding a horse is not so easy as riding a motor bike. 2. It is nicer to go out with someone than alone. [wrong] (to go to-infinitive form of the verb go ; in the second part no to-infinitive form Therefore, this sentence should be It is nicer to go out with someone than to go out alone. e) Use of the definite article the + comparative form: (apart from the PARALLEL COMPARISON) When we want to know which one of the two persons, animals or things is more or less in the quality talked about, we use the the with the comparative form of the adjective or adverb: For example,

Which one of these two girls is the stronger? However, this use of the comparative form is considered rather literary or very formal. And in informal or spoken English a superlative form is often used instead:the strongest? Which of these two girls is f) Certain comparatives taken from Latin language have no positive or superlative degree. They all end in or but not in er. They are twelve in all. Five of them lost their comparative meaning, and are used as positive forms. They are: exterior, interior, ulterior, major & minor e.g. The exterior wall of the house is made of stone; the interior walls are of wood. Her age is a matter of minor importance. I have no ulterior motive in offering you my help. The other seven are used as comparative forms but are followed by to instead of than. They are: Inferior, superior, prior, anterior, posterior, senior & junior e.g. A horse is inferior to Lilly in intelligence. Lillys intelligence is superior to a horses. He is junior to all his colleagues. All his colleagues are senior to him. g) Adjective words such as square, round, perfect, eternal, universal, and unique cannot be compared; but we often use them in comparatives, for example: e.g. This is the most perfect specimen I have seen. [used to show excitement] ********************************************* Interchange of Degree of Comparison sentences:

1. Lead is the heaviest of all metals. [superlative degree] {lead is pronounced as led} Lead is heavier than all other metals.

or Lead is heavier than any other metal. [comparative degree] No other metal is so heavy as lead. [positive degree degree of inequality] 2. New York is one of the biggest of American cities. [superlative degree] New York is bigger than most other American cities. [comparative degree] Very few American cities are so/as big as New York. [positive degree inequality]

Degrees of Comparison Rules


By lynette On November 24, 2011 With 2Comment

Short vowels

POSITIVE Flat Thin Clean Short Large Nice Easy Pretty Com/for/table In/te/res/ting Painful Beautiful Good Bad Many/much Little/few Far Old

COMPARATIVE Flatter Thinner Cleaner Shorter Larger Nicer Easier Prettier More comfortable More interesting More painful More beautiful Better Worse More Less Farther/further Older/elder

SUPERLATIVE Flattest Thinnest Cleanest Shortest Largest Nicest Easiest Prettiest Most comfortable Most interesting Most painful Most beautiful The best The worst The most The least The farthest/furthest The oldest/ eldest

Double vowels or double consonants Words ending in E

Words ending in Y

Words of more than two syllables Words ending in ful

EXCEPTIONS

Degrees of Comparison are used when we compare one person or one thing with another. There are three Degrees of Comparison in English. They are: 1. Positive degree. 2. Comparative degree. 3. Superlative degree. Let us see all of them one by one. 1.Positive degree. When we speak about only one person or thing, We use the Positive degree. Examples: This house is big. In this sentence only one noun The house is talked about. He is a tall student. This flower is beautiful. He is an intelligent boy. Each sentence mentioned above talks about only one noun.

The second one in the Degrees of Comparison is... 2.Comparative degree. When we compare two persons or two things with each other, We use both the Positive degree and Comparative degree. Examples:

a. This house is bigger than that one. (Comparative degree) This house is not as big as that one. (Positive degree) The term bigger is comparative version of the term big. Both these sentences convey the same meaning. b. This flower is more beautiful than that. (Comparative) This flower is not as beautiful as that. (Positive) The term more beautiful is comparative version of the term beautiful. Both these sentences convey the same meaning. c. He is more intelligent than this boy. (Comparative) He is not as intelligent as this boy. (Positive) The term more intelligent is comparative version of the term intelligent. Both these sentences convey the same meaning. d. He is taller than Mr. Hulas. (Comparative) He is not as tall as Mr. Hulas. (Positive) The term taller is comparative version of the term tall. Both these sentences convey the same meaning. The third one in the Degrees of Comparison is...
3.Superlative degree:

When we compare more than two persons or things with one another, We use all the three Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees. Examples:

a. This is the biggest house in this street. (Superlative) This house is bigger than any other house in this street. (Comparative) No other house in this street is as big as this one. (Positive) The term biggest is the superlative version of the term big. All the three sentences mean the same meaning. b. This flower is the most beautiful one in this garden. (Superlative) This flower is more beautiful than any other flower in this garden. (Comparative) No other flower in this garden is as beautiful as this one. (Comparative) The term most beautiful is the superlative version of the term beautiful. All the three sentences mean the same meaning. c. He is the most intelligent in this class. (Superlative) He is more intelligent than other boys in the class. (Comparative) No other boy is as intelligent as this boy. (Positive) The term most intelligent is superlative version of the term intelligent. Both these sentences convey the same meaning. d. He is the tallest student in this class. (Superlative) He is taller than other students in this class. (Comparative) No other student is as tall as this student. (Positive) The term tallest is superlative version of the term tall. Both these sentences convey the same meaning.

*Degrees of Comparison are applicable only to Adjectives and Adverbs* *Nouns and verbs do not have degrees of comparisons*

He is the tallest student in the class. The term tallest is an adjective. Among the members of the group, Mr. Clinton speaks most effectively. The term effectively is an adverb. All the terms used in the above-examples are either adjectives or adverbs. We have seen all the three Degrees of Comparison. Let us see their models. Model -1: The best: Examples: i. This is the best hotel in this area. No other hotel is as better as this on in this area. No other hotel is as good as this one in this area. ii. Unemployment is the most serious problem facing our country. Unemployment is more serious than any other problem facing our country. No other problem facing our country is as serious as unemployment. Model-2: One of the best: Examples: i. Calcutta is one of the largest cities in India. Calcutta is large than most other cities in India. Very few cities in India are as large as Calcutta. ii. Satin Tendulkar is one of the best batsmen in the world.

Satin Tendulkar is better than most other batsmen in the world. No other batman in the world is as good as Satin Tendulkar. Model-3: Not the best: Examples: i. This is not the best solution to the problem. ii. This is not better than few other solutions to this problem. iii. Other solutions to this problem are not as good as this one. ii. New York is not the largest city in America. New York is not bigger than many other cities in America. Few other cities in America are at least as large as New York. Few adjectives and adverbs get their Comparative forms by simply getting more before them. And their superlative terms, by getting most before them. Examples: Beautiful..........more beautiful..........most beautiful Effective.more effectivemost effective Effectivelymore effectively.most effectively Enjoyable.more enjoyable.most enjoyable Useful.more useful..most useful Different..more differentmost different Honest..more honest..most honest Qualifiedmore qualifiedmost qualified Few adjectives and adverbs get their Comparative forms by simply getting er after them and their superlative terms, by getting est after them. Examples:

Hard..harder..hardest Big.bigger.biggest Tall..tallertallest Longlongerlongest Short..shorter.shortest Costlycostliercostliest Simple.simpler.simplest Degrees of Comparison add beauty and varieties to the sentences.

Comparison of Adjectives

Ram is tall. Shyam is taller than Ram. Mohan is the tallest of the three. In the second sentence, the word taller is the comparative form of the adjective. The comparative form of the adjective denotes a higher degree of the adjective tall when two people or things are compared. In the third sentence, the word tallest is the superlative form of the adjective. The superlative form of the adjective denotes the highest degree of the adjective tall when more than two people or things are compared. Here are some simple rules to keep in mind when forming comparatives and superlatives. RULE 1 For most adjectives, er is added for the comparative form and est for the superlative form. Tall Taller Tallest Strong Stronger Strongest Short Shorter Shorter Kind Kinder - Kindest RULE 2 For adjectives ending with e, r is added for the comparative form and st for the superlative form. Wise Wiser Wisest Large Larger Largest Nice Nicer Nicest Fine Finer - Finest RULE 3

For adjectives ending with y, y is removed and ier is added for comparative form and iest for the superlative form. Lazy Lazier Laziest Crazy Crazier Craziest Wealthy Wealthier Wealthiest Heavy Heavier - Heaviest RULE 4 Usually for longer adjectives, more + adjective is used for comparative form and most + adjective is used for superlative form. Handsome More Handsome Most Handsome Beautiful More Beautiful Most Beautiful Intelligent More Intelligent Most Intelligent Difficult More Difficult Most Difficult RULE 5

Irregular Adjectives: There are some irregular adjectives for which the comparative and superlative form follow no particular rule. Good Better Best Bad Worse Worst Many More Most Little Less - Least

Degrees of Comparison of English Adjectives


Categories: Adjectives, Grammar Rules.

This lesson is about the formation of comparative and superlative degrees with examples for each of the cases The comparative degree of adjectives is used to compare the qualities of a certain object in English. The English adjectives could be used in a comparative or superlative form. We use the comparative degree of adjectives when we want to emphasize that an object is superior compared to the other. The formation of the comparative degree 1. The comparative degree is formed by adding the -er ending to the single-syllable adjectives. Examples:

fast faster simple simpler John runs faster than Ann. This task is simpler than the previous one.

2. If the adjective ends with a vowel and a consonant, then the consonant is doubled. Examples:

Big bigger; Thin thinner; My house is bigger than yours. Black copybook is thinner than the green one.

3. The comparative degree of two-syllable words ending with the y is also formed by adding the -er ending, while the y letter is changed to i. Examples:

Early earlier; Easy easier.

4. The comparative degree of multi-syllable adjectives is formed by using the word more, which is placed before the adjective. Examples:

More expensive; More comfortable; My computer is more expensive than yours. This sofa is more comfortable than the chair.

5. The comparative degree of adverbs ending in -ly is also formed by the word more. Examples:

Carefully - more carefully; Seriously - more seriously; She uses computer more carefully than earlier. They study English more seriously than they used to.

6. For a two-syllable adjectives such as quiet, clever, narrow, shallow, simple we can use both the word more or the -er ending. Some adjectives and adverbs are exceptions: Exceptions Good/well better Bad/badly worse Far further Examples:

This book is better. Your answer was worse than yesterdays.

7. The superlative degree of adjectives is formed by the -est ending for the one-syllable words and with a word more for multi-syllable words. You have to remember that there must always be the definite article before the adjective in the superlative degree. Examples:

Long the longest; Hot the hottest; Easy the easiest; Difficult the most difficult; Expensive the most expensive; Famous the most famous; Today is the hottest day of the month.

This hotel is the most expensive in the city. This poet is the most famous in his family. This task is the easiest one in the book.

8. The superlative degree of the adjectives good, bad, far is an exception:

The best, the worst, the furthest.

Please note the following sentences:


This theatre is the eldest building in the city. His eldest son is 15 years old.

The use of adjectives in the comparative and superlative forms Oftentimes, the degrees of comparison of adjectives are used in the following sentences: What is the longest river in the world? What is the best room in the hotel? John is the cleverest student in our class. What is the happiest day of your life? Today is the coldest day of this winter. What is the most interesting film you have ever seen? This dish was the most delicious I have ever tasted. Lets go by bus. It is much cheaper. Dont go by plain. It is a lot more expensive. Can you speak a bit more slowly? This book is slightly more interesting than the other one. This teacher is far more serious than he seemed at first.

Fill in the correct form of the words in brackets (comparative or superlative).

My house is (big) than yours. This flower is (beautiful) than that one. This is the (interesting) book I have ever read. Non-smokers usually live (long) than smokers. Which is the (dangerous) animal in the world? A holiday by the sea is (good) than a holiday in the mountains. It is strange but often a coke is (expensive) than a beer. Who is the (rich) woman on earth? The weather this summer is even (bad) than last summer. He was the (clever) thief of all.

Which girl is ________? Dana or Karen?

young the youngest younger more young

12.Indian cooking has some of ________dishes in the world. hot the hottest hotter

hottest

2. Tomer is _________ boy in the class. the strongest stronger strong the most strong

13.That is ____________ song this band has. the most beautiful more beautiful bautifulest beautiful

3. The China Wall is _____ wall in the world. the longest more long longer long

14. Cities are ____________ than villages busier busy

the busiest most busy

4. February is ______ than April. short the shortest shorter most short

15. Bill Gates is one of ___________ people in the world. the rich richer rich the richest

5. I am ______ at music than my old sister. good better goodest the best

16. Rita is __________ than the other students in class. hardworking

the most hardworking more hardworking hardworkinger

6. Ice hockey is __________ sport in Canada. popular the most popular more popular populariest

17. Garfield is ___________ than Nemo. the funniest more funny funnier funny

7. Amaliais ___________ girl in the class. the cleverest clever cleverer more clever

18. German is __________ than English.

the most difficult difficulter difficult more difficult

8. Swimming is ______________ than running. exciting more exciting excited the most exciting

19. Your new car is _______ than my old car. the cheapest cheaper more cheaper most cheapest

9. Traveling by plane is________ than traveling by ship. fastest fast faster more fastest

20 .New York is ________ city in USA.

crowded the most crowded more crowded crowder

10. Jerusalem is _________ city in Israel. the biggest big bigger biggest

21. This is ____________ question in this task.Don't give up! easier easy the easiest most easy

11. The weather this week is _________ than last week. bader bad the worst worse

22. This book is _______than the movie .I liked it very much. interesting more interesting the most interesting interest

Forming Comparative and Superlative Adjectives: Morphological, Spelling, and Pronunciation Changes
written by: Heather Marie Kosur edited by: Tricia Goss updated: 12/16/2011

Prototypical English adjectives express three degrees of modification: positive, comparative, and superlative. The following article lists and explains the rules for forming the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives in the English language.
English Adjectives

In English, adjectives decline for three degrees of modification: positive, comparative, and superlative. Learn the rules for spelling and pronouncing the comparative and superlative forms of English adjectives in the following sections.
Single Syllable Adjectives

For one-syllable adjectives spelled with a final consonant preceded by either two vowels or additional consonants, simply add the -er or -est suffix. For example:

cold colder coldest deep deeper deepest fast faster fastest lean leaner leanest

For one-syllable adjectives spelled with a final y or w preceded by a vowel, simply add the -er or -est suffix. For example:
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gay gayer gayest low lower lowest new newer newest slow slower slowest

For one-syllable adjectives spelled with a final consonant preceded by a single vowel, double the final consonant and add the -er or -est suffix. For example:

big bigger biggest fat fatter fattest hot hotter hottest sad sadder saddest

For one-syllable adjectives spelled with a final e preceded by a consonant, remove the e and then add the -er or -est suffix. For example:

cute cuter cutest fine finer finest nice nicer nicest wide wider widest

-y, -le, and -er Adjectives

For one- or two-syllable adjectives spelled with a final y preceded by a consonant, change the y to an i and then add the -er or -est suffix. For example:

burly burlier burliest dry drier driest sassy sassier sassiest ugly uglier ugliest

For two-syllable adjectives spelled with a final le, remove the e and then add the -er or est suffix. For example:

gentle gentler gentlest humble humbler humblest little littler littlest simple simpler simplest

For two-syllable adjectives spelled with a final er, simply add the -er or -est suffix. For example:

bitter bitterer bitterest eager eagerer eagerest somber somberer somberest

tender tenderer tenderest

Note, however, that the comparative and superlative forms of -le and -er adjectives are in the process of linguistic change with the addition of both -er/-est suffixes and more/most adverbs producing grammatically acceptable forms. For example, native English speakers use both humbler and more humble and both tenderest and most tender.
Irregular Adjectives

Some English adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms. For example:

bad worse worst far further furthest good better best many more most old elder eldest well better best

Note that the superlative form of irregular adjectives in English almost always appears with the determiner the as in She is my elder sister but He is the eldest sibling.
Other Adjectives

All other adjectives in English require the adverbs more and most in the comparative and superlative forms. For example:

comfortable more comfortable most comfortable kindhearted more kindhearted most kindhearted romantic more romantic most romantic zealous more zealous most zealous

The adverbs more and most function as adjective phrase modifiers within the adjective phrases of comparative and superlative adjectives.
Pronunciation Changes

The pronunciation of the positive form of English adjectives does not change in the comparative and superlative forms. For example:

bright [braiyt] brighter [braiytr] brightest [braiytst] damp [dmp] damper [dmpr] dampest [dmpst] jolly [ali] jollier [alir] jolliest [alist]

However, for adjectives pronounced with a final ng [], insert a g [g] sound between the positive form of the adjective and the comparative or superlative suffix. For example:

long [la] longer [lagr] longest [lagst] strong [stra] stronger [stragr] strongest [stragst] young [y] youngest [ygr] youngest [ygst]