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

Hello RH,

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. The difference is explained on the page above and there are many examples. You might also take a look at this page for more examples.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
Please tell me when to use 'for' and when to use 'of' in a sentence. Like if I have to write,'these are the test dates for 2016' or 'these are the test dates of 2016'. Which one is correct? Though I think 'for 2016' sounds better but not sure.
Thanks

Hello mahus_chakravarty,

While we can't list all of the ways in which these words can be used in sentences, which would be a very big task indeed, we can comment on these particular examples. In this context 'for' would be the normal choice and we can use it to describe dates in the past, present or future.

If you were talking about dates in the past then 'of' would be possible. For example:

These were the test dates of 1983.

However, even in the context 'for' would be more commonly used.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Peter.

Hello,

Can we use 'other' in following sentence:

The population of Kolkata is greater than that of any other city in India.

Hello amol,

Yes, that is correct, though it is also correct without 'other'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,

Please help me in transforming the following sentences into comparative and positive degrees.

1. Tennyson is not the greatest of all poets.

2. A wise enemy is the best of all foolish friends.

Hello amol,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers for tasks from elsewhere (homework, exams and other sites, for example). If you want to tell us how you would do the task then we will tell you if you are correct, but we do not do such tasks for our users.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir
Please explain the sentence "If the fruit is smaller, it is sweeter" is equivalent to "The smaller the fruit, the sweeter it is" but why not equivalent to "The smaller the fruit is, the sweeter it is".

Hello meheee2008uiu,

All of these forms are possible and have the same meaning. However, in the task only certain answers are possible because of the position of the commas.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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