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Comparative and superlative adjectives

Level: beginner

Comparative adjectives

We use comparative adjectives to show change or make comparisons:

This car is certainly better, but it's much more expensive.
I'm feeling happier now.
We need a bigger garden.

We use than when we want to compare one thing with another:

She is two years older than me.
New York is much bigger than Boston.
He is a better player than Ronaldo.
France is a bigger country than Britain.

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:

The faster you drive, the more dangerous it is. 
(= When you drive faster, it is more dangerous.)

The higher they climbed, the colder it got. 
(= When they climbed higher, it got colder.)

Comparative adjectives 1

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Comparative adjectives 2

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Superlative adjectives

We use the with superlative adjectives:

It was the happiest day of my life.
Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
That’s the best film I have seen this year.
I have three sisters: Jan is the oldest and Angela is the youngest

Superlative adjectives 1

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Superlative adjectives 2

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How to form comparative and superlative adjectives

We usually add –er and –est to one-syllable words to make comparatives and superlatives:

old older oldest
long longer longest

If an adjective ends in –e, we add –r or –st:

nice nicer nicest
large larger largest

If an adjective ends in a vowel and a consonant, we double the consonant:

big bigger biggest
fat fatter fattest

If an adjective ends in a consonant and –y, we change –y to –i and add –er or –est:

happy happier happiest
silly sillier silliest

We use more and most to make comparatives and superlatives for most two syllable adjectives and for all adjectives with three or more syllables:

careful more careful  most careful
interesting more interesting  most interesting

However, with these common two-syllable adjectives, you can either add –er/–r and –est/–st or use more and most:

common
cruel
gentle
handsome
likely
narrow
pleasant
polite
simple
stupid

He is certainly handsomer than his brother.
His brother is handsome, but he is more handsome.
She is one of the politest people I have ever met.
She is the most polite person I have ever met.

The adjectives good, bad and far have irregular comparatives and superlatives:

good better best
bad worse worst
far farther/further  farthest/furthest
How to form comparative and superlative adjectives

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Basic level

Comments

Hi zagrus,

You need to phrase the sentence quite carefully to make it clear what you are comparing. I would suggest the following:

London is further from Madrid than is Paris.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter,
If I want to say the distance from London to Madrid is further than that between London and Paris, is this sentence correct: "London is further from Madrid than Paris"?
Is there another longer version for this the sentence: "London is further from Madrid than is Paris."? this structure seems a bit advanced.
Thank you

Hello Kaisoo93,

The sentence 'London is further from Madrid than Paris' is ambiguous.

It could mean that the distance from London to Madrid is greater than the distance from Paris to Madrid. Alternatively, it could mean that the distance from London to Madrid is greater than the distance from London to Paris.

Your alternative is fine.

 

To make each meaning clear, you can formulate the sentence like this:

London is further from Madrid than Paris is / London is further from Madrid than is Paris.

London is further from Madrid than it is from Paris.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Dear Sir,

I faced with some sentences in Azar blue regarding comparison of adjectives that I am not sure about even it is true or false. I am waiting to here from you even these are true of false:
the example is:
10. I don't like to work hard, but my sister does. I'm a lot lazier than my sister.
here first used alot then used lazier. is it right?

Hello M Ebrahim,

Yes, that sentence is fine. 'A lot' here is a modifier to make the comparative adjective 'lazier' stronger.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Sir,

I got the point.

Sorry, but your exercises are half hidden. :(

Hello Antonina M,

Thanks for telling us. We just made a major update to our site a few days ago, and this is one of the bugs that we are working on. We'll get it fixed as soon as we can – sorry for the inconvenience!

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
Is the following sentence correct ?

No other star is so bright as the Sun.

Thanks

Hello Kelsie_29,

Yes, that is correct, though 'as bright as' is more common in modern English.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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