Comparatives and Superlatives in English

When we want to compare two or more nouns, adjectives‏‎ or adverbs‏‎ we use the comparative and superlative forms. Grammatically the main difference is between comparing 2 items or comparing more than 2 items.

Comparing 2 Items
To compare two items, we use the comparative:

I am big, he is bigger.

She works carefully, he works more carefully.

We often use this form in this pattern:

{comparative} + {than}

He is taller than me.

We are more efficient than you.

See the main article, Comparatives‏‎ for more on this.

Comparing More than 2 Items
To compare more than two items, we use the superlative:

Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system.

In the company, Sandra works the most carefully.

If the context is clear, we do not need to use a complete comparison. We can say:

This book is more difficult.

The rest of the sentence is implied:

This book is more difficult (than that book).

We often use the superlative with the present perfect simple‏‎ like this:

{superlative} … {present perfect + ever}

It was the most boring film I have ever seen.

That was the most disgusting meal I have ever had to eat.

Forming the Comparative & Superlative
Small words add -er and -est to make the comparative and superlative. Large words use the and more and most

adjective – comparative  – superlative
small – smaller – the smallest
extensive – more extensive – the most extensive

Note that the superlative often takes the with it.

Did you know that if you subscribe to our website, you will receive email notifications whenever content changes or new content is added.
1. Enter your e-mail address below and click the Sign Me Up button.
2. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your intention of subscribing to our site.
3. Click the link in the email to confirm. That’s all there is to it!

Enter your email address below to subscribe to IWeb TEFL.

Note: if you wish to unsubscribe from our site, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email you received.
Then indicate you no longer wish to receive our emails.

Thank You
IWeb TEFL Team

Posted in Language Functions.

Leave a Reply