Categorized | Comparisons

Comparisons

Comparisons in English are done by using comparatives and superlatives. Comparatives are for comparing two things and are typically used with ‘than’ after the adjective to show a difference. When things are similar, use ‘as [adjective] as.’ Superlatives are for comparing three or more things and are usually preceded by ‘the.’

Comparative (inequality): Barbara is much more intelligent than her son, George.

Comparison (equality): Barbara is as intelligent as her husband.

Superlative: George is the least intelligent person in the family.

 

Inequality: Regular Forms

Short words, those with only one syllable or two syllables but end in –y, almost always use –er (2 things) and –est (3+ things).

Adjective Comparative (2 things) Superlative (3 or more)
fat fatter the fattest
happy happier the happiest
tall taller the tallest

Longer words use ‘more’ (comparative) and ‘most’ or ‘least’ (superlative).

Adjective Comparative (2 things) Superlative (3 or more)
handsome more handsome the most handsome
beautiful more beautiful the most beautiful
intelligent more intelligent the most intelligent

 

Note: Don’t use ‘more’ and –er together, or ‘most’ and –est. Use only one at a time!

right: I’m prettier than you. I’m the prettiest person in the world.

wrong: I’m more prettier than you. I’m the most prettiest person in the world.

 
Irregular Forms

There are a few irregular comparative and superlative forms that students will need to learn. Below are the common irregular forms:

Comparative (2 things) Superlative (3 or more)
good/ well better best
bad/ badly worse worst
many/ much more most
little less least

 

Equality (no difference)

When there is no difference between things you are comparing, use as [adjective] as [object].

My turtle smells as nice as an unwashed bathroom.

The chocolate-chip cookies are as tasty as the peanut butter cookies.