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

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Comparative adverbs 2

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Superlative adverbs 1

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Superlative adverbs 2

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c0chito 提交于 周三, 12/08/2020 - 23:31

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I think is better to be more specific with this important rule: "With adverbs ending in -ly, you must use more to form the comparative, and most to form the superlative."
This tip is an educative one.

itspb008 提交于 周五, 24/04/2020 - 12:00

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Can you give order of the adverbs like how two or three different adverbials goes in a sentence with example?

Hello ltspb008

There's so much variation with this that it's difficult to make general statements other than that adverbs that modify other adverbials tend to go before the form they modify.

One other is that adverbials of place tend to come before adverbials of time when both come after the verb (e.g. 'We went to the beach every day' is more natural than 'We went every day to the beach').

If you had a specific sentence or adverbial in mind, please let us know.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Moroccish 提交于 周日, 05/01/2020 - 13:53

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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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

mtoker 提交于 周一, 07/10/2019 - 14:49

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Hi. 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

Kirk

The Learn English Team

Petals 提交于 周三, 18/10/2017 - 02:54

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

Petals 提交于 周二, 17/10/2017 - 07:57

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

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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Ilariuccia 提交于 周五, 16/06/2017 - 19:14

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

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,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Ilariuccia 提交于 周二, 23/05/2017 - 19:42

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Hi! 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....

Peter M. 提交于 周三, 24/05/2017 - 05:56

Ilariuccia 回复

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Hello Ilariuccia,

All three are possible but I would say that the first and third are more common than the second. However, without knowing the full context of what you want to say it is impossible to say which would be correct - this depends on the speaker's intention, the situation, exaclty what they are talking about and how much information is shared already between them.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Ilariuccia 提交于 周一, 27/02/2017 - 16:47

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Hi! Is it more correct: I'm staying in a hotel or I'm staying at a hotel? Thanks in advance.... Kind regards

Peter M. 提交于 周二, 28/02/2017 - 07:05

Ilariuccia 回复

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Hello Ilariuccia,

Both 'in' and 'at' can be used in this context with no difference in meaning.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

renavalho 提交于 周一, 19/09/2016 - 11:49

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Hello, Hope you are well. Could you help me, please? I'd like to know whether or not both sentences have the same meaning even after having omitted the comparative 'more' in the sentence 2. 1) more challenging and more time-consuming than you expected... 2) more challenging and time-consuming than you expected... Kind regards, renavalho

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,
Kirk
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,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

kecha.raut 提交于 周六, 13/06/2015 - 18:43

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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? Thanks

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,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

grammar2015 提交于 周五, 12/06/2015 - 07:39

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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

oliver hilarion 提交于 周六, 20/12/2014 - 16:51

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studa 提交于 周六, 21/12/2013 - 22:18

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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,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

thank you  so much Mr Peter for help .That s really kind of you

jrar 提交于 周五, 15/02/2013 - 09:42

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learn English team please tell me.

"the most luckiest man in the world." is that sentence correct or wrong?

can we use the "most" before spuerlitive?

please explain me..

Hello jrar!

According to my experience, we don't use most with words that end with est. For example, the luckiest, the weakest etc.

However we can use most to form superlatives. For example, the most beautiful, the most distant etc.

So the correct sentence should be: He is the luckiest man in the world.

 

I hope it is helpful.

Mietek 提交于 周日, 25/11/2012 - 18:30

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That said  is vary useful to learning English languages for all ... 

jastin 提交于 周一, 24/09/2012 - 01:30

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hi

can i say something like:she danced slightly more awkwardly because of her leg injured instead saying she danced slightly more awkwardly because of her leg injury?

awaiting for your response:)

thanks

 

 

yeamah 提交于 周二, 27/03/2012 - 15:04

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