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Comparatives and superlatives

Adjectives
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Exercise 1 Exercise 2 Exercise 3

1. Comparative and superlative adjectives

COMPARATIVE ADJECTIVES

Comparative adjectives are used to compare a certain characteristic or quality between two or more things, animals or people.

The mouse is smaller than the owl.
SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES

Superlative adjectives express the maximum degree of a characteristic of an element in relation to others in the same group or condition.

The fastest car is the blue one.

2. How are comparative and superlative adjectives made? 

Para construir estructuras comparativas y superlativas hay que seguir unas reglas:

  • One-syllable adjectives usually form the comparative by adding the ending -er to the adjective, and the superlative by adding the ending -est. The article the usually precedes a superlative.
    ADJECTIVE
    One-syllable adjectives
    Tall
    COMPARATIVE
    -er
    Taller
    SUPERLATIVE
    -est
    The tallest
    Exceptions Comparatives Superlatives
    If the adjective ends in -E Only -R is added Only -ST is added
    Wide
    Wider
    The widest
    Adjectives ending in consonant + vowel + consonant The last consonant is doubled and then -ER is added The last consonant is doubled and then -EST is added
    Big
    Bigger
    The biggest
  • Two-syllable adjectives usually form the comparative by placing the particle more before the adjective, and the superlative by placing the particle the most. The adjective doesn't suffer any changes. The -er and -est forms can also be used instead, but it's less common.
    ADJECTIVE
    Two-syllable adjectives
    Clever
    COMPARATIVE
    More /  -er
    More clever / Cleverer
    SUPERLATIVE
    The most / the + -est
    The most clever / The cleverest
    Exceptions Comparatives Superlatives
    If the adjective ends in -Y The -Y is replaced by -IER The -Y is replaced by -IEST
    Easy
    Easier
    The easiest
  • Adjectives with three or more syllables form the comparative by placing more in front of the adjective, and the superlative by placing the most. The adjective doesn't suffer any changes.
    ADJECTIVE
    More than two syllables
    Difficult
    COMPARATIVE
    More
    More difficult
    SUPERLATIVE
    The most
    The most difficult
  • There are some adjectives that don't follow the rules, they have their own form of comparative and superlative.
    Adjetives Comparatives Superlatives
    Good
    Better
    (The) Best
    Bad
    Worse
    (The) Worst
    Far
    Futher / farther
    (The) Furthest / Farthest

Remember!

Comparative adjectives are those that compare two elements while superlative adjectives express the maximum degree of a characteristic.
  Adjective Comparative Superlative
One syllable Tall -ER Taller The -EST The tallest
Two syllables Clever More
-ER
More clever
Cleverer
The most
The -EST
The most clever The cleverest
Two syllables ending in -Y Happy -IER Happier The -IEST The happiest
More than two syllables Dangerous More More dangerous The most The most dangerous
Irregular Good
Bad
Own form Better
Worse
Own form The best
The worst

 

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