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Comparative and superlative adverbs

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



Hi Kirk,

Some of my colleagues disagreed about the the right tense to use (future simple or perfect) in the the following sentence:

Jamal is preparing for the reading competition which (take place)................. in three months' time.

Their answer was future perfect, for, they argued, there is the expression "in three months' time", which we use with future perfect.
My answer is future simple (will take place). What do you think? Thank you in advance.

Hi Moroccish,

Of the two options, will take place is the more likely choice, in my view, but both are grammatically possible.


The future perfect form is used when looking back from a time further in the future. Most often, this is done with a by-phrase:

The competition will have taken place by the summer. [= at some point before the summer]

It is possible to use a time phrase beginning with in, but the point of view should be from a time further in the future. Thus you could say this if you are imagining yourself looking back from, say, the autumn:

The competition will have taken place in the summer. [= looking back from the autumn]

A phrase like in three months' time can suggest a concrete time, rather than a point before which something happens, so we would usually add an adverb to avoid ambiguity:

The competition will have already taken place in three months' time. [= Three months from now, the competition will be over and done]


Other forms are possible, of course: is to take place, takes place etc.



The LearnEnglish Team

Which usage is correct? The actors were dressed beautiful. or The actors were dressed beautifully.

Hello mtoker

I probably wouldn't use either form, to be honest, but if I had to choose one I'd say 'beautifully', which is an adverbial and refers to the way the actors were dressed. I'd also say 'beautifully dressed' instead of 'dressed beautifully'. But really I would probably avoid it altogether by saying something like 'The actors' costumes were beautiful'.

All the best


The Learn English Team

Thanks Kirk.
I read this sentence online— low skilled jobs require relatively fewer skills than other jobs in many areas. Is ‘relatively fewer’ correct ?

Please tell me the correct way to use ‘relatively’ for comparison. Is the following sentence correct : we performed relatively better than any other team.

Hi Petals,

'relatively' isn't usually used to compare two explicit people or objects -- please see the example sentences in the dictionary entry. I'm not sure I understand what you want to communicate, but it sounds to me as if the word 'relative' may not be necessary in your comparison: 'We performed better than any other team' expresses a clear comparison. You could also perhaps say 'We performed better relative to the other teams', but the simple comparison also works.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi everyone!
Which sentence is correct?
1. It's important for me
2. It's important to me

Hi Ilariuccia,

Both sentences are possible - which is correct depends upon the context.

We say 'important to' when something has value in our opinion. For example, you might say 'Loyalty is very important to me', meaning that you place great value on the characteristic of loyalty.

We say 'important for me' when something is benefits us or when it is something we should do. For example, you might say 'Monitoring blood sugar levels is important for people with diabetes', meaning that this is something they should do.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Talking about a great variety of...shops, for instance, which expression is more correct:
1. All types of shops
2. All the types of shops
3. Shops of all types
Thanks in advance....