Comparative adverbs

Level: beginner

We can use comparative adverbs to show change or make comparisons:

I forget things more often nowadays.
She began to speak more quickly.
They are working harder now.

We often use than with comparative adverbs:

I forget things more often than I used to.
Girls usually work harder than boys.

Level: intermediate

We use these words and phrases as intensifiers with comparatives:

much far a lot quite a lot
a great deal a good deal a good bit a fair bit

I forget things much more often nowadays.

We use these words and phrases as mitigators:

a bit  slightly rather
a little a little bit just a little bit

She began to speak a bit more quickly.

Level: beginner

Superlative adverbs

We can use superlative adverbs to make comparisons:

His ankles hurt badly, but his knees hurt worst.
It rains most often at the beginning of the year.

Level: intermediate

We use these words and phrases as intensifiers with superlatives:

easily by far much

When we intensify a superlative adverb, we often put the in front of the adverb:

In our office, Jill works by far the hardest.
Of the three brothers, Brian easily runs the fastest.

Level: beginner

How to form comparative and superlative adverbs

We make comparative and superlative adverbs using the same rules as for comparative and superlative adjectives. For example:

One syllable: Jill works fast. > faster > fastest
One syllable ending in –e: They arrived late. > later > latest
Two or more syllables: Alan finished the test quickly. > more quickly > most quickly
well: She speaks English well. > better > best
badly: She speaks German badly. > worse > worst
far: He'll go far. > farther/further > farthest/furthest
Comparative adverbs 1


Comparative adverbs 2


Superlative adverbs 1


Superlative adverbs 2



Hello renavalho,

Yes, those two sentences can mean the same thing and I think generally would be understood to mean the same thing. If you wanted to be absolutely clear that both adjectives should be in comparative form, you could use sentence 1 or say 'both more challenging and time-consuming ...', but in general that's probably not necessary.

By the way, leaving words out that are still to be understood is called 'ellipsis'. We don't have a page that explicitly covers this topic, but if you ever wanted to read more about it, I'm sure you could find more online by searching for 'ellipsis'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question about 6th item of the task:
It goes: "He walked slightly more awkwardly because of his leg injury."
Why is there an adverb and not an adjective (awkward) after a link werb (walk)? "Walk" does function here as a link verb, or doesn't it?

Hello Ondra K,

'Walk' here is a normal verb describing an action. It is not a link verb.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, could you explain to me what is the difference, in meaning, between the following sentences:

1. If you want to pass the exam you need to study harder.
2. If you want to pass the exam you need to study hard.

I would imagine the first sentence shows the comparison but what about the second one?


Hi kecha.raut,

You are correct that the first sentence means 'more than at the moment'. It suggests the word being done at the moment is not enough. Perhaps the person is working hard, but needs to do more.

The second sentence means that the person is not working hard at the moment, and that hard work is necessary.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi to identify the types of adverbial from the answers to the questions above. let me know which is correct and which is wrong. thank you.
2. We'll have to work 'much' [intensifier] 'faster'=[comparative] to finish it 'on time'=[time]
3. She listened 'more'= [comparative] 'carefully' = [ manner] the second time
4. He played a great deal 'better than'=[comparative] 'last week'=[time]
6. He walked 'slightly'=[ manner] 'more'=[comparative] 'awkwardly'=[manner] because of his leg injury
7.John loses his temper 'far'=[intensifier] 'more' =[comparative] frequently=[frequency] these days= [time]
8. They arrived 'a bit'=[mitigators] 'sooner than'=[ comparative] I expected

I'm so lucky having all this material to teach and giving my students nice and dinamic exercises to improve their english every class.THANKYOU SO MUCH BRITISH COUNCIL and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Thx 4 efforts

Hello all
I would like to know if we could use the adverb of frequency "always " in the present perfect tense sentence?
thank you in advance for any help

Hello studa,

Certainly, if the action is one which started in the past and continues to the present, and we want to emphasise that it has always been true:

He's always loved her.

They've always dreamed of being famous.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team