In Grammar By Victoria

Degrees of comparison of adjectives in the English language

Again, that the adjective (Adjective) — is part of the speech, which represents a distinctive feature of an object, person or phenomenon. All English language adjectives are divided into two groups: high quality (qualitative) and relative (relative). Degrees of comparison (Degrees of comparison of adjectives) are only qualitative adjectives. After all, we can not employ a relative adjective, for example, in the form of more or less wood. But qualitative adjectives can be presented in a positive, comparative and superlative degree of comparison.

The comparative degree (comparative degree)

The positive (positive degree) degrees of comparison of adjectives in the English language to say nothing. This is the initial (simple) form of the adjective. It is indicated in the dictionary. For example: clever (clever), new (new), cold (cold). The comparative degree used when comparing two or more items, persons. It demonstrates a greater or lesser degree of a one of the objects or persons. To establish the extent of the comparison, you need to:

  • a two-syllable adjective monosyllabic and add the ending er: cheap — cheaper (cheaper — cheaper); narrow — narrower (narrow — already); long — longer (long — long).
    • If the adjective ends in e, then the formation of the comparative degree it drops: simple — simpler (simple — easier).
    • If the adjective ends with — y, then the formation of the relative changes to the power y i: lucky — luckier (successful — more successful), easy — easier (easy — easy).
    • If the adjective ends in a consonant preceded by a short vowel sound, then the formation of the relative degree of the final consonant is doubled: big — bigger (big — more), hot — hotter (hot — hot).
  • comparative degree from polysyllabic adjectives formed analytically, using words more / less (more / less): expensive — more expensive (expensive — more expensive), serious — less serious (seriously — less serious), comfortable — more comfortable (comfortable — more comfortable).

Superlatives (superlative degree)

This comparison determines the degree of the largest and most smaller degree of a subject or a person among several comparable. For the formation of the degrees of comparison of adjectives in the English language, we perform the following:

  • to understand one and two we add the adjective ending -est: thin — the thinnest (thin — the thinnest), fast — the fastest (fast — the fastest). At the same adjectives to e, — and at the consonants with a vowel preceded by a brief follow the same rules as for the formation of the comparative degree.
  • polysyllabic adjectives with the words we use most / least: talented — the most talented (gifted — the most talented); interesting — the least interesting (interesting — the least interesting).

In the formation of the degrees of comparison of adjectives in the English language necessarily need to use the article the, as indicated in the above examples.


Some two-syllable adjectives can form degrees of comparison and endings er, — est and the words more, most / less, least. Here’s the list:

  • able
  • angry
  • clever
  • common
  • cruel
  • friendly
  • gentle
  • handsome
  • narrow
  • pleasant
  • polite
  • quiet
  • serious
  • simple
  • sour

Also, some degree of comparison adjectives have a special shape. These adjectives, as well as their shape, you should know by heart:

  • Good — better — the best (good — better — best)
  • Bad — worse — the worst (bad — worse — the worst)
  • Little — less — the least (small — less — the least)
  • Many / much — more — the most (large — more — most)
  • Old — older — the oldest (old — older — the oldest)
  • Old — elder — the eldest (old — older — the oldest) — family members
  • Late — later — the latest / last (late — later — the last one, the newest / most recent)
  • Late — the latter — the last (late — the last of these — the last in the order)
  • Near — nearer — the nearest (closer — closer — the closest in distance)
  • Near — nearer — next / the next (close — closer — next time / next in order)
  • Far — farther — the farthest (the far, far — more distant — the farthest)
  • Far — further — the furthest (the far, far — further — the furthest)

These are the basic rules of education and forms of degrees of comparison of adjectives in English. People interested in this material, can expand their knowledge by studying the specific comparative constructions in English.



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