Forming the Comparative and Superlative

FORMING THE COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE

Using the comparative of adjectives in English is quite easy once you have understood the few simple rules that govern them. 

Below you will find the rules with examples for each condition.

If you are not sure what a syllable or a consonant is – have a look here.

 

big, bigger, biggest

 

Rules

Number of syllables Comparative Superlative (see rule)
one syllable + -er + -est
tall taller tallest
one syllable with the spelling consonant + single vowel + consonantdouble the final consonant:
fat fatter fattest
big bigger biggest
sad sadder saddest
Number of syllables Comparative Superlative
two syllables + -er OR more + adj + -est OR most + adj
ending in: -y, -ly, -ow
ending in: -le, -er or -ure
these common adjectives – handsome, polite, pleasant, common, quiet
happy happier/ more happy happiest/ most happy
yellow yellower/ more yellow yellowest/ most yellow
simple simpler/ more simple simplest/ most simple
tender tenderer/ more tender tenderest/ most tender
If you are not sure, use MORE + OR MOST +
Note: Adjectives ending in ‘-y’ like happy, pretty, busy, sunny, lucky etc:. replace the-y with –ier or iest in the comparative and superlative form
busy busier busiest
Number of syllables Comparative Superlative
three syllables or more more + adj most + adj
important more important most important
expensive more expensive most expensive

Examples

  • A cat is fasta tiger is faster but a cheetah is the fastest
  • A car is heavya truck is heavierbut a train is the heaviest
  • A park bench is comfortable, a restaurant chair is more comfortablebut a sofa is the most comfortable

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