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Adjectives are describing words. They tell us about the colour, size, shape, nature, quality or condition of a noun. Examples are: blue, green, round, square, good, old, tall, brave, beautiful, tired, happy, exhausted etc. The basic types of adjectives


An opinion adjective explains what you think about something (other people may not agree with you). For example: silly, beautiful, horrible, difficult


A size adjective, of course, tells you how big or small something is. For example: large, tiny, enormous, little


An age adjective tells you how young or old something or someone is. For example: ancient, new, young, old


A shape adjective describes the shape of something. For example: square, round, flat, rectangular


A colour adjective, of course, describes the colour of something. For example: blue, pink, reddish, grey


An origin adjective describes where something comes from. For example: French, lunar, American, eastern, Greek


A material adjective describes what something is made from. For example: wooden, metal, cotton, paper


A purpose adjective describes what something is used for. These adjectives often end with “-ing”. For example: sleeping (as in “sleeping bag”), roasting (as in “roasting tin”)


Where a number of adjectives are used together, the order depends on the function of the adjective. The usual order is:

Value/opinion, Size, Age/Temperature, Shape, Colour, Origin, Material/Purpose


Positive Adjectives The positive adjective is the simple form of the adjective without expressing increase or diminution of the original quality: big. Comparative Adjectives (+er) The comparative adjective is that form of the adjective which expresses increase or diminution of the quality: bigger. Examples are older than or more expensive than or bigger than or faster than or taller than etc. Adjectives are compared in two ways, either by adding -er to the positive to form the comparative and -est to the positive to form the superlative. The following adjectives are exceptions to this rule ( irregular ): 1.- good becomes better or best.

2.- bad becomes worse or worst

Superlative Adjectives (+est) The superlative adjective is that form which expresses the greatest increase or diminution of the quality: biggest. An adjective is in the superlative form when it expresses a comparison between one and a number of individuals taken separately; "John is the richest man in Boston."


An adjective is also in the positive form when it does not express comparison; as, "A rich man." Adjectives of two or more syllables are generally compared by prefixing more and most. Example: Paris is the most romantic city in the world.

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.


Number of Comparative syllables


one syllable + -er

+ -est




one syllable with the spelling consonant + single vowel + consonant: double the final consonant: fat









two syllables + -er OR more + adj

+ -est OR most + adj


happier/ more happy happiest/ most happy


simpler/ more simple

simplest/ most simple

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



three syllables or more

more + adj

most + adj


more important

most important


more expensive

most expensive


Examples • • •

A cat is fast, a tiger is faster but a cheetah is the fastest A car is heavy, a truck is heavier, but a train is the heaviest A park bench is comfortable, a restaurant chair is more comfortable, but a sofa is the most comfortable

These adjectives have completely irregular comparative and superlative forms: Adjective good bad little much far

Comparative better worse less more further / farther

Superlative best worst least most furthest / farthest


1. To compare the difference between two people, things or events. • • • •

Mt. Everest is higher than Mt. Blanc. Thailand is sunnier than Norway. A car is more expensive than a bicycle. Albert is more intelligent than Arthur.

2. To compare people, places, events or things, when there is no difference (use as + adjective + as). • • • • •

Peter is 24 years old. John is 24 years old. Peter is as old as John. Moscow is as cold as St. Petersburg in the winter. Ramona is as happy as Raphael. Einstein is as famous as Darwin. A tiger is as dangerous as a lion.

3. Difference can also be shown by using not so/as (NOT AS + ADJECTIVE + AS) • • • •

Mont Blanc is not as high as Mount Everest Norway is not as sunny as Thailand A bicycle is not as expensive as a car Arthur is not as intelligent as Albert