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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


Comparative adjectives 2


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


Superlative adjectives 2


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:


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



remember that for the comparative you add -er and that for the superlative you add -est but using the rules correctly.

Quantifiers define a name and are always located in front of the name. Some can be used only with countable names, others only with uncountable names and others with both.

The comparative is used in English to compare differences between the two objects it modifies(larger,faster,smaller) it is used in sentences where we compare two names.
The superlative is used to describe an object that is at the top or bottom of a quality (the tallest, the smallest). used in sentences in which we compare a subject with a group of objects.

There's a lot of information about the correct from of adjectives to use comparatives and superlatives. You should remember the rules, for example: If an adjective ends in a vowel and a consonant, we double the consonant.

It is very common to compare things using adjectives, for example: "That car is small but the other is smaller." These are called comparative adjectives.

The superlative is an adjective that makes mention of something very large and out of the ordinary, with a maximum degree of excellence.

Quantifiers in English
many, much, some, any, no, none, a lot of, plenty of, few, little, enough, too, too many, too much, are words that help us quantify how much we have something a lot, little, lots, enough, too much

A very good explanation. We should remember to do not use "more" with short adjetives, it's a common mistake, instead of that we need to practice and remember the rules to modify the adjetive.

Dear Sir/Ma'am,


'Snippet' is a noun. However, many people use it as an adjective also. The common expression I have come across a number of times is "a snippet view of something". For example, "This article gives a snippet view of the complex idea of secularism." Is it grammatically acceptable?



Hello again Raj

I'm not familiar with this particular collocation. An internet search suggests that it may come from the app Evernote, but I'm not sure about that. It does sound grammatically correct to me. In English there are many noun + noun combinations, e.g. 'coffee pot', 'tea cup', 'swimming pool', and this seems to be a relatively new one.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

I'd like to know how to form the comparative form of the adjective "empty".
The grammar rule says that for an adjective that ends with "Y" we need to change it into " IER" (eg happy=happier)
However, I heard this morning on the radio "more empty than".
Could you please tell me if "emptier than" would also have been possible?
Thank you

Thank you Kirk!
Best wishes.