Comparison of adjectives
Adjectives have three forms which we can use when we compare two or more nouns: positive form, comparative form and superlative form. The positive form is used when comparing two equal persons or things, and the comparative and superlative forms when comparing two or more unequal nouns.
Besides the above suffixes used to form the comparative and superlative, we can use the words more and most in front of an adjective to form the comparative and superlative respectively. Use the adverbial more with most adjectives that have two syllables, and more and most with all adjectives that have more than two syllables. The adjective itself does not change in form when used with more or most.
The positive form
When we use the positive form of adjective to make comparison, we use such expressions: as . . . as; not as . . . as, etc. to compare two equal things or persons.
The comparative form
We use adjectives to describe a noun. We can also use adjectives to compare two nouns in terms of size, length, quality and others. The comparative form is used to compare two unequal persons or things. In using the comparative form of adjective to describe how one person or thing is when compared to another person or thing, we add the letters -er to the end of the adjective words (big – bigger; small – smaller) and the word than after the comparative adjective (longer than, taller than).
Not all adjectives can end with -er. For some adjectives, we use the word more in front of them (careful – more careful; tired – more tired). When using the word more, we also use the word than to follow the ccareful; tir
Some words cannot be used as comparative adjectives by adding "-er."
Do not use “more” and “er” together for an adjective when making comparison
More than one comparative adjective may be used to make a comparison.
To form a comparative adjective, we look at the number of syllables a regular adjective has. Regardless of the number of syllables, the adjective itself does not change in form when used with more or most.
For adjectives of one syllable, we normally add -er to the end of the comparative adjective (high – higher, weak – weaker) and -est in their superlative forms (highest,weakest).
If an adjective of one syllable ends with an e, just add an r (pale – paler; safe – safer).
If an adjective ends in a consonant, the consonant must be doubled (big – bigger; mad – madder).
Example of an adjective that has two syllables: funny has two syllables: fun-ny
If an adjective has two syllables and ends in y, drop the y and add –ier (early – earlier; happy – happier; pretty – prettier)..
If an adjective has two syllables and does not end in y, add the word more before the adjective (more handsome; more helpful; more purple).
Example of a three-syllable adjective is beautiful. It has three syllables: beau-ti-ful.
For an adjective with three or more syllables, use the word more in front of the adjective to form the comparative form and the word most in front of the superlative form.
|good||better (than)||(the) best|
|bad||worse (than)||(the) worst|
|little (amount)||less (than)||(the) least|
|little (size)||smaller (than)||(the) smallest|
|much||more (than)||(the) most|
|many||more (than)||(the) most|
|some||more (than)||(the) most|
|far (distance)||farther (than)||(the) farthest|
|far (advanced stage)||further (than)||(the) furthest|
List 17 - The Comparison of Adjectives shows the comparison of adjectives for most common (and uncommon) words.