Comparison of Adjectives: Comparative and Superlative

Comparison of adjectives! Learn how to use comparative and superlative adjectives in English with example sentences and ESL printable worksheets.

In many languages, someadjectivesare comparable. For example, a person may be “intelligent”, but another person may be “more intelligent”, and a third person may be the “most intelligent” of the three. The word “more” here modifies the adjective “intelligent” to indicate a comparison is being made, and “most” modifies the adjective to indicate an absolute comparison (a superlative).

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Three Forms of Comparison of Adjectives in English

Positive: it is an ordinary form of adjectives

Comparative: shows when two persons or objects being compared

Superlative: indicates that the quality or quantity is at its highest or is most intense

  • Comparativeare used to describe people and things.

– My car is fast but John’scar is faster.

– Emily is tall but Sophia is taller.

– I need a bigger car

  • Than” is used to compare one thing with another.

– Henry is older than Tom.

– Emily is smarter than Sophia.

– The second test was easier than the first one.

  • The” is used with a superlative:

– Where Are the Tallest Buildings in the World?

– Harry is the tallest student in this class.

  • As…as” is used to compare the attributes of two things that are equal

– Emily is as tall as Sophia.

– The first test is as easy as the second one.

General Rules in Forming Comparison of Adjectives

Comparison of Adjectives | English Grammar Pin

There are basic rules in forming the degrees of comparison:

  1. For one-syllable adjective, add –er to form comparative and –est for superlative.


  • clear / clearer / clearest,
  • dark / darker / darkest
  1. For most two-syllable adjectives, add –er for comparative and – est for superlative.


  • simple / simpler / simplest,
  • gentle / gentler / gentlest
  1. For three or more syllables, always use more and most to form the comparative and superlative.


  • creative / more creative / most creative
  1. Some adjectives end with a consonant letter y, change y to I and add –er or -est.


  • busy / busier / busiest,
  • merry / merrier / merriest
  1. 有些形容词以单个元音和结束单身finalconsonantletter. Double the final consonant and add –er/-est.


  • thin / thinner / thinnest,
  • fat / fatter / fattest
  1. When the adjectives end in “e”, add –r for the comparative and –st for superlative


  • wise / wiser / wisest,
  • simple / simpler / simplest
  1. Irregular comparisons of adjectives are compared irregularly


  • good / better / best
  • ill / worse / worst

Comparison of Adjectives: FormingEquative,Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

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Notes for Irregular Comparison of Adjectives


Irregular Comparisons:

  • Far / Farther than / the Farthest
  • Far / Further than / the Furthest

FartherandFarthestgenerally refer to distance

FurtherandFurthestalso refer to distance but they may have the meaning of “additional

“His voice carried farther than mine.”

“Further analysis of the data is needed.”

  • Old / Older than / the Oldest
  • Old / Elder than / the Eldest

OlderandOldestrefer to persons or things;

ElderandEldestcan only be used for members of the same family

“My elder sister is a doctor.”

“The older generation doesn’t like pop music.”

butEldercannot be placed beforeThansoOlderis used:

“Henry is my elder brother; he is two years older than I.”

Last Updated on May 9, 2023

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