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ComparativeandSuperlativeAdjectives

All adjectives have forms called degrees. Adjectives that simply


describe are in the positive degree. Adjectives that compare two
things are in the comparative degree, and adjectives that
compare three or more things are in the superlative degree.

Degree

Examples

December is usually a cold, or frigid, month.


Positive
Comparative January is often colder, or more frigid, than

Superlative

December.
February can be the coldest, or the most
frigid, month of all.

Rules for using Comparative and Superlative degrees:


1. For all one-syllable and a few two-syllable adjectives, add er
to form the comparative degree and est to form the superlative
degree.
Positive
tall
few
tender

Comparative
taller
fewer
tenderer

Superlative
tallest
fewest
tenderest

2. For most adjectives with two syllables and for ALL


adjectives with three syllables or more, use more to form the
comparative and most to form the superlative.
Positive
intelligent

Comparative
more intelligent

Superlative
most intelligent

Examples taken from:


Rueda, Saldivar, Shapiro, et al. Houghton Mifflin English. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
(pgs. 196-199).

ComparativeandSuperlativeAdjectives
awkward
incredible

more awkward
more incredible

most awkward
most incredible

Important!: Never combine er with the word more. Never


combine -est with the word most.
Incorrect: Spring flowers are more prettier than fall ones.
Correct: Spring flowers are prettier than fall ones.
3. When you compare things that are less rather than more, use
less for the comparative and least for the superlative.
Positive
strong

Comparative
less strong

Superlative
least strong

IRREGULAR ADJECTIVES
Some adjectives are irregular. You will need to memorize their
comparative and superlative forms.

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

good
well (healthy)
bad
little (quantity)
much, many

better
better
worse
less
more

best
best
worst
least
most

Review:
Examples taken from:
Rueda, Saldivar, Shapiro, et al. Houghton Mifflin English. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
(pgs. 196-199).

ComparativeandSuperlativeAdjectives
The positive degree is the basic form of the adjective.
Use the comparative degree to compare two things.
Add -er or more to the adjective.
Use the superlative degree to compare three or more things.
Add -est or most to the adjective.

Practice: Lets see if we can use the correct degree of the


adjectives in the examples below.
1. In the United States, either June 21 or June 22 is the
_________________ day of the year. (long)
2. After that, each day is ______________ than the one
before. (short)
3. The sunrise is _______________ in the summer than it is
in the winter. (early)
4. The difference is ________________________ near the
North Pole than at the equator. (noticeable)
5. In summer the midnight sun is the
__________________________ sight in Alaska. (remarkable)
6. In Alaska the __________________ weather of the year
comes in June. (nice)
Examples taken from:
Rueda, Saldivar, Shapiro, et al. Houghton Mifflin English. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
(pgs. 196-199).

ComparativeandSuperlativeAdjectives
7. Almost any day in Florida is _______________ than any in
Alaska. (hot)
8. Florida is one of the _______________ states of all. (sunny)

Examples taken from:


Rueda, Saldivar, Shapiro, et al. Houghton Mifflin English. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
(pgs. 196-199).