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Comparatives and Superlatives

One syllable adjectives Comparative: add er (cheaper) Superlative: add est (the cheapest) One syllable adjectives ending in 'e' Comparative: add r (nicer) Superlative: add st (the nicest) One syllable adjectives ending in consonant - vowel - consonant Comparative: add consonant + er (hotter) Superlative: add consonant + est (the hottest) Two syllable adjectives ending in 'y' Comparative: replace 'y' with ier (happier) Superlative: replace 'y' with iest (the happiest) Two or more syllable adjectives Comparative: add more / less (more / less beautiful) Superlative: add the most / the least (the most / least beautiful) Irregular adjectives good - better - the best bad - worse - the worst far - further - the furthest
(-ful / -less / -ing / -ed / -ous Note that two-syllable adjectives with these endings always form their comparatives and superlatives with more and most:

Having a tooth extracted was more painful than I expected it to be. The situation is even more hopeless than I thought. She will never recover. The most boring part of the weekend was listening to Jane's jokes. I'm more worried than you are about Tom and I've only known him for two days.)

Functions and examples

We use comparatives to compare two things. John is thinner than Bob. It's more expensive to travel by train than by bus. My house is smaller than my friend's house. We use superlatives to compare one thing with the rest of the group it belongs to. John is the tallest in the class. He's the best football player in the team. This is the most expensive hotel I've ever stayed in.

Important points
We do not use the with the superlative if there is a possessive. His strongest point is his ambition. We use as + adjective + as to say that two things are equal in some way. He's as tall as me. Jim's car is as fast as mine. We use not as to say that two things are not equal in some way. He's not as tall as me. Jim's car is not as fast as mine. We can modify comparatives with much, a lot, far, a little, a bit, slightly. Bob is much richer than I am. My mother's hair is slightly longer than mine. We can modify superlative with by far, easily and nearly. Mario's is by far the best restaurant in town. I'm nearly the oldest in the class. If the second part of a comparative or superlative sentence is clear from what comes before or from the context, we can omit it. Going by bus is very fast, but the train is more comfortable. We can repeat comparatives to say that something is changing. These exams are getting worse and worse every year. She gets more and more beautiful every time I see her. When we want to describe how something or someone changes we can use two comparatives with and: The balloon got bigger and bigger. Everything is getting more and more expensive. Grandfather is looking older and older. We often use the with comparative adjectives to show that one thing depends on another: When you drive faster it is more dangerous > The faster you drive, the more dangerous it is. When they climbed higher it got colder > The higher they climbed, the colder it got. ADVERBS We use more for adverbs that end in ly: More slowly More seriously

More quietly Also: more often But: earlier (not more early) These adverbs have irregular comparative forms: Well better Badly- worse Far further (or farther)

Complete these sentences using a comparative or superlative form of the word in bold.

1. Angela is _____________________________ person in the class.


2. Andrew speaks good French but Lucy speaks it ________________________. Better 3. The bill isnt ______________________________________ as I thought it would be. Expensive 4. He bought ____________________________________ petrol he could find. 5. Dont kick the ball so ___________________. Youll break a window! 6. Her teacher speaks ______________________________ than ours. Cheap


Slow Far Bad

7. They live _________________________________ from school than I do.

8. Your sons behaviour is _________________________ in the whole school. 9. It was ________________________ film I had ever seen. Boring

10.She sings _______________________________than anyone else in the choir. Beautiful


1. Cats arent as expensive to keep as dogs. More Dogs are ________________________________________ cats.

2. His canary sings better than mine. Well My canary doesnt ___________________________________________ his.

3. Is this the cheapest pet food youve got? Anything Isnt ____________________________________________ this pet food?

4. I have never seen a dirtier dog. Ever This must be the ___________________________________________ seen.

5. She couldnt afford the Persian cat. Expensive The Persian cat was _________________________________________ buy.

6. The cheetah is the fastest animal in the world. As No animal runs ______________________________________ the cheetah.

7. Not many other cities are as large as Tokyo. The Tokyo is one ____________________________________ in the world.

8. I prefer sightseeing to lying on the beach. Rather Id _____________________________________________ on the beach.

9. Sam isnt nearly as brave as Joe. Lot Joe is _______________________________________________________ Sam.

10.Last year the show wasnt quite as expensive as this year. Bit Last year the show was _______________________________ expensive than this year.

A) The hotel room wasn't as small as the last one we stayed in. The hotel room

the last one we stayed in.

B) The advert said the tickets cost 5 but we had to pay 6. The tickets were

was advertised.

C) I thought the bag would be light but it wasn't. The bag

I thought.

D) I felt very tired yesterday but I'm OK today. Yesterday I felt

I do today.

E) The exercise was very easy compared to the one we did last week. The exercise we did last week was

yesterday's one.

F) I had much more work to do today than I usually have. I

usual today.

A) This black coat is cheaper than the brown one. The black coat is not

the brown one.

B) Both Mark and Stella have the same colour eyes. Stella's eyes are the


C) The party finished sooner than I thought it would. The party didn't finish

I thought it would.

D) I couldn't have run any faster. I ran

I could.

E) You and I are different sizes. You're not

as me.

F) I'm less fit now than I used to be. I'm not

I used to be.

A. His latest book isn't as good as his first one. His first book ........................................ his latest one.

B. Her old school was closer than the new one. Her new school ......................................... the old one.

C. I've never played better than I did yesterday. Yesterday ........................................ I have ever played.

D. He has never made such a bad decision. It ........................................ decision he has ever made.

E. The bank is at the very far end of the street. The bank ........................................ shop along the street.

F. I didn't think my results would be this bad. My results ........................................ I had thought.