Comparison of Adjectives

Mastering grammar basics help one to lay the foundation for mastering a language itself. And with English, this cannot be truer. Now, most of you will be familiar with the basics of English grammar such as nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives. In this article, we will discuss a bit more about adjectives. Let us study more about the comparison of adjectives. 

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Adjectives are words that describe the qualities or quantities of a noun and a pronoun. An adjective is a word that gives more information about the noun. Some examples include:

  • Paula is a talented singer.
  • Mehmood was an excellent comedian.
  • The green meadows had a calming effect on little Tom.

Adjectives also include words that quantify nouns. For example, there are millions of stars in the sky. Another example can be “The cake should have ten rosettes.”

Now as you can see in the examples above, an adjective usually follows a noun. In the sentence, “Paula is a talented singer”, “talented” is the adjective that comes before the noun “singer”. Similarly, in the other examples, the adjectives are “excellent”, “green”, “little”, and “millions”.

However, in some cases, an adjective follows a linking verb such as “is”, “seem”, “be”, and so on. These adjectives are called predicate adjectives. For example, the pool in the new club seems to be huge.

 Comparison of Adjectives

Comparison of Adjectives

(Image Source: Flickr)

Now that you are familiar with the basic concept of adjectives, let us understand the comparison of adjectives. You can use adjectives to compare the characteristics or attributes of a person or an object. For instance:

  • Charu is shorter than her sister.
  • Parul is better at singing than dancing.

As you can see, we are using adjectives to compare the characteristics. Now, the three forms of comparison include the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. The positive adjective is the most basic form of the adjective.

In other words, any adjective that you use to describe a quality of a noun is a positive adjective. For example, in the sentence “The Burj Khalifa is a tall building”, the word “tall” is the adjective in its positive form.

You use the comparative form of an adjective when you want to compare the difference between two objects that the adjective defines. For instance, using the same context, we can say, “The Burj Khalifa is taller than the Petronas tower.” Here, “taller” is the comparative form of the objective “tall”.

Finally, you use the superlative form of an adjective to describe an object when it stands out as the highest or lowest among all other objects. Here the comparison is between two or more objects and one object among all others stands out. Using the same context, we can say, “The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.” Here “tallest” is the superlative form of the adjective “tall”.

Guidelines for the Comparison of Adjectives

Let us now discuss a few guidelines that you should follow for using comparative and superlative adjectives.

  • First, with one-syllable adjectives, you should add the suffix “er” for the comparative adjective and the suffix “est” for the superlative adjective. If the adjective is spelled as a consonant, a single vowel, and a consonant, then you should double the last consonant in the comparative and superlative form. Here are a few examples:
Positive Comparative Superlative
Big Bigger Biggest
Thin Thinner Thinnest
Mad Madder Maddest
Tall Taller Tallest
  • Second, with two-syllable adjectives, you should add the suffix “er” or the word “more” before the adjective to form the comparative. To form the superlative, you should add the suffix “est” or the word “most” before the adjective. In most cases, both forms are used. Also, if the adjective ends with a “y”, change the “y” to an “i” in the spelling. Let us see a few examples.
Positive Comparative Superlative
Happy Happier Happiest
Ugly Uglier Ugliest
Slanted More slanted Most Slanted
Mangled More mangled Most mangled
  • Finally, with adjectives with three or more syllables, you should create the comparative form by adding the word “more” in front of the adjective. And, you should create the superlative form by adding the word “most” in front of the the article “the” before the word “most”. Let’s see some examples.
Positive Comparative Superlative
Beautiful More beautiful Most beautiful
Complex More complex Most complex
Expensive More expensive Most expensive
Wonderful More wonderful Most wonderful

Irregular Adjectives

In addition to the regular comparative and superlative adjectives, the English language has other irregular adjectives that are very different from their positive form. Let us look at some examples:

  • That is a good steak you have there.
  • You are better at barbecuing than I am.
  • This is the best steak I have ever had.

As you can see, we have used the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective “good”, which are “better” and “best”. Some other examples include:

Positive Comparative Superlative
Bad Worse Worst
Little Less Least
Much More Most

Solved Question for You on Comparison of Adjectives

1. Fill in the blanks with the correct adjective.

She is the ________ dancer in the batch.

  1. Good
  2. Better
  3. Best

Answer: Best

2. This book has some of the _______ _______ Sudoku puzzles.

  1. More difficult
  2. Most difficult
  3. Difficultest

Answer: Most difficult

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2 responses to “Kinds of Adjectives”

  1. susil says:

    Great information. I love it.

  2. asmaa says:

    I don t understand how mine, ours, theirs, yours, hers, his.can be possessive adjectives?

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