Book your course now

What are absolute adjectives?

Average: 3.7 (40 votes)

Take a look at these very short sentences:

"He's tall."

"He's dead."

They both contain adjectives: tall and dead.

Tall can be used in comparative sentences:

"He's taller than me."

Dead can NOT be used in comparative sentences:

"He's deader than me."

You are either 'dead' or not; you can not be 'dead-er' or 'more dead' than someone.

Dead is therefore an example of an absolute adjective - adjectives that can not take a comparative or superlative ('dead-est') form.

Using an absolute adjective in a comparative sentences makes your English sound strange so watch out!

Another example of an absolute adjective is 'unique' because it means 'one of a kind' and, therefore, it can not be 'more unique' than something. It's either 'unique' or it isn't.

How about these words, are they absolute adjectives or not?

Link: Prepositions in phrasal verbs

  • Perfect is...

  • Complete is...

  • Red is....

  • Essential is...

  • Healthy is...

  • Pregnant is...



i got all correct in this quiz....................thanks!

u are a dilligent .....

u are a dilligent .....

How interesting!

I wronged complete and essential plus red!

I normally use "more complete" and "more essential" ...but it seems to be not correct. Regarding red there are different kind of red more or less intense!It's not on-off!

What does "watch out" mean?


Hi EL, You're right - 'red'

Hi EL,

You're right - 'red' comes in many shades and is therefore not an absolute.
'Watch out' means 'be careful / take care.'


'watch out' means 'be

'watch out' means 'be careful or cautious'. I think so.

the meaning of wath out

Watch out means be carefull Nerd

I will watch out.

Thank you very much I've never heard about absolute adjectives. But I made mistakes. These are red (I can not understand how it may be redder) and perfect. I will watch out.


me too. I want to know how can Red become Redder? or Reddest?? an example please Timeout

thanks a lot.

note: there is a mistake in writing this sentence (Using a absolute adjective in comparative sentences) I think the correct is (Using an .....) am I right? Worried

Be happy and pleased with yourself Smile

I am glad that I got all the

I am glad that I got all the answer right, I really like this web site a lot.


i have got a new lesson in adjectives

ghazala it realy a wonderful

it realy a wonderful experience for me again


thanks chris it is a new information for me , but i surprised with the word red Surprise

It's interesting and useful

It's interesting and useful

Is essential an absolute

Is essential an absolute adjective?how?
and how red is not?

absolute adjectives

Essential means 'absolutely necessary' - making it an absolute.
Red comes in many shades - 'light red', 'dark red' and so on.

what are absolute objectives

I got two but i want to know how red is and absolute objective


I think you misread. Red is NOT an absolute adjective.


Yes, Red again!!!

But I understood why red is not an absolute adjective after reading all comments here. thanks.Smile

i'm perfect.that's all

i'm perfect.that's all Cool

Good job!

Congrats for those who got perfect. Good job!

wow.. love it..

wow.. love it.. geezzz...♥♥

Nataly I didn't make any

I didn't make any mistakes, but I had never heard about absolute adjectives before, thank you

I had never heard about absolute adjectives.

i think it's a helpful lesson and it deserves interest.

To: Chris McCarthy Re: Natural English


By "natural English," I presume you mean English as it is spoken colloquially?  I understand that many speakers (native or acquired) of any language do not follow all the rules all the time.  But a site that purports to teach the rules of grammar should do just that--teach the rules.  To excuse your own mistakes by saying, in essence, that that is what everyone else does is a specious argument.  Would the police accept such an argument from a driver who sped through a traffic light?  And, by the way, not everyone lazily ignores the rules.  Many people know and apply the rules of grammar in their eveyday conversation. 


Out of these four words





Wrong is the absolute adjective out of these correct? You can't be wronger. I know we say "you couldn't be more wrong" but that is slang really isn't it or a cliche? Bad is my second choice, you can be worse but can't be badder or more bad.

Thanks! your discussion has been most helpful

Even good writers learn new things!!!

I guess the consequences of not paying attention in school is missing good points like this one, absolute adjectives.  I learned something new after being in school learning and writing English all my life!!!  Smile.

Would that be a deafie thing?  (Something I may have missed because I'm deaf?  Hmm...)  Now I will be asking myself, can I add the suffix -er or -ist to the end making the base word greater?  If I can, then it is not an "Absolute Adjective."

Thanks for the tip!!!  (Funny thing, I was looking for ideas to teach a client of mine basic English skills in Sign Language!  Instead I ended up learning something.)