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Comparisons with adjectives and adverbs

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Adjective – a word used to modify or describe a noun or pronoun.
Adverb – a word that is used to modify an adjective, verb, or adverb.

There are three forms of adjectives and adverbs used to show varying degrees of comparison: the positive, the comparative, and the superlative.

The positive form is used when there is no direct comparison being made to anything specific, but is used to offer a broad or general comparison.

The comparative form is used when two things are being compared with each other.

The superlative form is used when more than two things are being compared with one another.

Regular forms for one and two syllable words.

positive – no change (big, strong, long, etc.)
comparative – words end in "er" (bigger, stronger, longer, etc.)
superlative – words end in "est" (biggest, strongest, longest, etc.)

Regular forms for three or more syllable words.

positive – no change (understandable, comfortable, etc.)
comparative – use "more" (more understandable, more comfortable, etc.)
superlative – use "most" (most understandable, most comfortable, etc.)

Adverbs that end in "ly" always use "more" or "most", such as "more quickly" or "most quickly"..

Remember that these are general rules and many adjectives and adverbs have irregular forms.

Have a go and see how you do!

By Thomas Williams

Thomas Williams is a teacher at EC San Diego

Link: Adjective Word Order


  • 1. I am the ___ speaker in the class.

  • 2. Our teacher writes very ___.

  • 3. Of all the people I know, you study the ___.

  • 4. We think John is ___ than Bill.

  • 5. Who is the ___ person you have ever spoken to?

  • 6. If I had to choose between Greg and Dan, Dan is ___

  • 7. This is ___

  • 8. Of all three of you, she swims ___

  • 9. Who is the ___ to succeed?

  • 10. Now I understand English ___