Comparatives

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Unit VIII

Comparative and Superlative adjectives

➢ For comparison, adjectives have got two forms: the comparative and the superlative.
➢ We use the comparative form + than to compare two people or things.
➢ We use the + superlative form + of/in to compare one person or thing with more than one person or thing in the same group. We use in when we talk about places.
Ex: Alec isthe tallest of all. New York is the most exciting city in the USA. (NOT: of the USA)

Comparative and Superlative Forms of Adjectives

➢ The Comparative of one-syllable and two-syllable adjectives is formed by adding –er, and the superlative by adding –est.
Ex: small-smaller-smallest.
➢ The Comparative of adjectives of three or more syllable is formed with more and the superlativewith most.
Ex: difficult-more difficult-most difficult.
➢ The Comparative and the Superlative of some two-syllable adjectives, such as clever, stupid, narrow, gentle, friendly, etc. are formed either with –er/-est or with more/most.
Ex: friendly-friendlier-friendliest friendly-more friendly-most friendly

Spelling rules

➢ One-syllable adjectives ending in –e take –r in thecomparative form and –st in the superlative form
Ex: nice-nicer-nicest
➢ Two-syllable adjectives ending in –y turn the –y into –I and then take –er/est.
Ex: Adjectives ending in a stressed vowel between two consonants double the final consonant and take –er/est.
Ex: big-bigger-biggest But: strong-stronger-strongest

Comparative and Superlative forms of Adverbs

The Comparative andSuperlative forms of Adverbs are formed in the same way as those of adjectives.
➢ Adverbs which have the same form as the adjective usually take –er in the comparative and –est in the superlative.
Ex. Fast-faster-fastest early-earlier-earliest
➢ Adverbs formed by adding –ly to the adjective take more in the comparative and most in the superlative form.
Ex: smartly-more smartly-mostsmartly

We use adjectives or their comparative or superlative forms with following words:
➢ Very + adjective
Ex: This is a very expensive gift.
➢ Much/a lot/a little/a bit/slightly + comparative
Ex: It’s much hotter today than yesterday.
➢ By far + superlative
Ex: He’s by far the best student in the class.

Irregular Comparatives and Superlatives.

|Adjective|Comparative |Superlative |
|Good/well |Better |worst |
|Bad/badly |Worse |worst |
|Much/many|More |most |
|A lot of |More |most |
|little |Less |least |
|far|Further/farther |Furthest/farthest |

Note: further/farther (adv) = a longer distance
Ex: His house is further/farther away from the post office than ours.

Further (adj.) = more
Ex: Don’t hesitate to ask me if you need any further information.

Types of comparisons

➢ We use as + adjective + as to show that twopeople or things are similar in some way. In negative sentences, we use not as/so…as.
Ex: Paul is as old as Richard.
Allison is not as/so clever as Cynthia.

➢ We use less + adjective + than for two people or things. It is the opposite of more…than.
Ex: This film is less exciting than the other one we saw. (=The other film we saw was more exciting than this one.)
➢ We use the...
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