Comparative and Superlative
-Johanna Isabella Castro Trejo #10 -Rolando Josue Romero Serrano #32 English
When we talk about two things, we can "compare" them. We can see if they are the same or different. Perhaps they are the same in some ways and different in other ways. We can use comparative adjectives to describe the differences. We can use comparative adjectives when talking about two things (not three or more things).
What Are Comparative Adjectives?
Comparative adjectives compare two things, people, or places unlike positive adjectives which stand alone and do not make comparisons between nouns. Frequently, the word than accompanies the comparative but not always.
Paul is taller than John.
The taller boy is Paul. Forming Comparative Adjectives
In some cases the comparative is formed by adding the suffix –er to a one syllable adjective. Sometimes two syllable words become comparative with an – er suffix as well. At other times the words more or less precede a two or three syllable adjective to show degrees of comparison. However, it’s not acceptable to do both. In other words, it’s poor grammar to say Paul is more taller than John, or less taller than Michael. Examples of Comparative Adjectives
The following are a few examples of how comparative adjectives are used in sentences.
Stella is a smaller dog than Bruno so she usually loses the fight over dog treats. (Stella is compared to Bruno.)
We ordered a bigger cake than usual in case unexpected guests came to the party. (The present cake is compared to the cake they usually order.)
Trey is more handsome than any movie star I’ve ever seen. (Trey is compared to a movie star.)
Susan is a kind person but she is less compassionate than Linda. (Susan is compared to Linda.)
Superlative “Mom’s apple pie is the best dessert at the party.”
The word best in the above sentence is an adjective that describes the word dessert. I could have said that mom’s apple pie is a good dessert or that her pie is better than Aunt Susie’s. Instead, by using the special type of adjective best I was able to let the readers know that mom’s apple pie surpassed all desserts in the group. This special type of adjective is called a superlative adjective. What Are Superlative Adjectives?
A superlative adjective is used to compare three or more objects, people, or places. Using the superlative form takes a comparison to the highest degree possible. As shown in the beginning sentence example, the adjective best is a superlative adjective that compares three or more desserts. You can’t get better than best!
The rules for creating superlative adjectives are similar to those used when making comparative adjectives. Here they are:
For a one-syllable word simply add the suffix –est to the word. Often times it is necessary to double the final consonant.
Big – Biggest
If the one syllable word ends with an “e” you only need to add an -st. An example is:
If a two-syllable word ends with a “y” then change the “y” to “I” and add -est.
Pretty – prettiest
Words that contain two or three syllables are preceded by the words most or least. An example would be most handsome or least perfect.