The Ultimate Guide To Comparative Adjectives

According to the rules of English language, adjectives refer to words that describe the states or qualities of nouns. For instance, words like silly, fun, enormous, fast. Apart from that, adjectives also describe the quantities of nouns. Examples are words such as many, twelve, billions, few, and so forth. In sentences, if someone says “it is a sunny day,” the adjective “sunny” provides additional information about the noun “day.”

Typically, adjectives add spice to sentences in order to make it more interesting.

Usage Of Adjectives In Sentences

Examples of usage of adjectives in sentences include:

  • Spartacus was a great movie, though it was long and sad.
  • Alexander possesses excellent managerial skills coupled with a superb listening skill.
  • Jason presented a stunning look before he shot the open.

Positions Of Adjectives

Usually, you can position adjectives prior to the specific noun that they describe or modify. For instance, “the red ribbon,” “the light box,” and so forth. These kinds of adjectives are attributive adjectives. This implies that they are there to modify or qualify nouns.

However, if there is a presence of linking verb such as “seem” or “be,” the adjective becomes predicative, and it can be placed immediately after the specific noun it is qualifying. The example can be seen in sentences like the “the ribbon is red,” “the box seems light.”

Adjective Degrees

You can also use adjectives to describe different degrees of comparison about a particular subject matter. For instance, we can assume that an object is large, but it is also appropriate to say that it is larger than something else.

Furthermore, we can also say that it is the largest of all. These degrees of adjectives are used to compare an object with other things. These terms might seem to be complicated, but they are just different ways of comparing one thing to another with adjectives. Here, we’ll be discussing two forms of degrees of adjectives: comparative and superlative.

Comparative Adjectives

These adjectives are used to make comparisons between two objects. Apart from that, comparative adjectives are used to describe objects that have higher degrees of qualities than another one. Comparative adjectives can be formed by the attachment of the suffix –er to the adjective. In another case, it can also be formed by placing the word “more” before writing the adjective.

Here is an illustration:

Subject + verb + comparative adjective + than + object.

Here are some examples:

  • The economy of Europe is bigger than that of Africa.
  • Carbon monoxide is more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • The fact remains that prevention is better than cure.
  • Our house is larger than yours.
  • Lauren’s dog runs faster than that of Jim.
  • The box is larger than the one I lost.

Superlative Adjectives

Superlative adjectives are words used to describe objects that either at the lower or upper limits of qualities. For instance, words like smallest, shorter, tallest, the fastest, and the lowest. Apart from that, they are also used in sentences in comparing a subject with a group of objects.

Let’s take a look at the structure here:

Noun (subject) + verb + the +superlative adjective + noun (subject)

If the context is clear, the group of objects that are being compared can be omitted. Examples can be seen in sentences like:

  • Our house remains the largest in our entire neighborhood
  • Your box remains the biggest box I’ve ever seen
  • Your cat ran the fastest race than any other dog in our vicinity
  • While we threw our rocks simultaneously, my rock flew the highest.
  • Asia is the largest continent in the world
  • Your birthday gift remains the best gift I’ve ever received.

Forming Regular Comparatives And Superlatives

The formation of comparatives and superlatives are easy and straightforward. However, this solely depends on the number of syllables present in the original adjective. Let’s take a look at the kinds of syllabic adjectives in English language writing and grammar:

One-Syllable Adjectives

For adjectives with one syllable, the comparative and superlative can be formed by attaching the suffixes –er and –est, respectively. If the adjective includes a consonant + single vowel + consonant spelling, the final consonant needs to be doubled before the suffix is added.

Adjective – Comparative – Superlative

  • Tall – Taller – Tallest
  • Short – Shorter – Shortest
  • Large – Larger – Largest
  • Fat – Fatter – Fattest
  • Sad – Sadder – Saddest
  • Cold – Colder – Coldest
  • New – Newer – Newest

Two Syllables

Adjectives with two syllables can form comparatives into ways. One is to add the suffix –er while the other way is to precede the adjective with the word “more.” The superlative of two syllables sentences can be formed by adding the suffix –est or by preceding the adjective with the word “most.” In numerous cases, both forms are used at all times, but the first usage is usually common than the second usage.

If, on the other hand, you are unsure if two syllabic adjectives can accommodate a comparative or superlative suffix, you can play safe and utilise words like “most” and “more” instead. In sentences that contain adjective that ends in “y,” you can replace “y” with an “I” before you add the ending.

Adjective – Comparative – Superlative

  • Simple – Simpler – Simplest
  • Busy – Busier – Busiest
  • Skillful – More skillful – Most skillful
  • Hopeless – More hopeless – Most hopeless
  • Dazzling – More dazzling – Most dazzling
  • Crowded – More crowded – Most crowded
  • Tangled – More tangled – Most tangled

Three Or More Syllables

In adjectives that comprise three or more syllables, the comparatives are formed by putting the word “more” in front of the adjective while the superlative is formed by fixing the word “most” in front of the adjective.

Adjective – Comparative – Superlative

  • Important – More important – Most important
  • Expensive – More expensive – Most expensive

Irregular Comparative And Superlative Adjectives

Some adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms. Here are a few examples:

Adjective – Comparative – Superlative

  • Good – Better – Best
  • Bad – Worse – Worst
  • Little – Less – Least
  • Old – Older – Oldest
  • Much – More – Most
  • Far – Father – Farthest

Usage Of Irregular Comparatives And Superlatives In Sentences

  • Today is the worst day I’ve experienced in a long time.
  • The green jacket remains the least expensive jacket in the store.
  • You’re a better tennis player than I do.
  • John ran pretty far the other day, but I ran even farther than him today.

Learn more about Collective Nouns and Auxiliary Verbs today!