It is used when we compare two things or two groups of things (people…etc.)
The easiest rule for the comparative form is:
- Add the ending -er to one-syllable words and to two syllable words ending in –y, e.g.
- fast – faster
- easy – easier
- big - bigger
Comparisons involve at least two people or two things. We use than before the second part of the comparison:
- Peter is taller than Jim
- This car is faster than that one.
- Put more (adverb of degree) in front of longer words, e.g.
- difficult – more difficult
- interesting – more interesting
- beautiful – more beautiful
- Mary is more beautiful than Sally.
- This book is more interesting than that one.
SUPERLATIVE – The superlative of a word is used to compare three or more things/people and to pick out one thing/person as more “X” than all the others.
- Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
- It is also the most famous mountain in the world.
As you can see, we compare adjectives like this:
- big – bigger – the biggest
- easy – easier – the easiest
- interesting – more interesting – the most interesting
- famous – more famous – the most famous
Some adjectives do not normally have comparative and superlative forms: absent, equal, left, opposite, right, single.
Certain adjectives have separate forms for comparative and superlative, or are in some other way “irregular”:
- good – better – the best (the same is used for ‘well’, meaning ‘in good health’
- bad, ill, evil – worse – the worst
- many, much – more – the most
Some adjectives form their comparative and superlative degrees in two ways:
- old – older/elder – the oldest/eldest
- far – farther/further – the farthest/furthest
- late – later – the latest/last
- near – nearer – the nearest/next
Note the meaning of some of these adjective forms:
- elder – born first of the two
- eldest – born before the other members of the family
- farther/further – longer in distance
- further – more, extra
- latest – newest
- last – final
- nearest – closest
- next – the one after this
- John is as tall as Bob.
- Your house is as large as mine.
- Not so/as.. as..
- This book is not so interesting as that one.
- The tree is not as tall as the building over there.
- As good as gold
- As poor as a church mouse
- As brave as a lion
- As black as coal
- As blind as a bat
- As pale as a ghost
- As cool as a cucumber
- As fierce as a tiger
- As light as a feather
- As white as a sheet
- As white as snow
- As wise as an owl