Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Adjectives can be used to show a comparison between different subjects. There are two main forms of adjectives when discussing comparisons: Comparative, which compares between two subjects; as well as Superlative, which is used when comparing three or more subjects. An example would be the word “slow.” The comparative form of “slow” would be “slower,” which states that one subject is slower than another. The superlative form of slow would be “slowest,” which states that one subject is slower than all other subjects.


Degrees of Comparison
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Degrees of Comparison

Adjectives can take on different forms when they’re being used to compare two or more things. Let’s take a look at this example on the board. We have the word “fast”. That is an adjective in its most basic form. If you were going to compare two things to each other, we would use the adjective “faster”.


An example of this adjective “fast” would be saying, “Look at that fast person.” If we were comparing two people, Jim and Steve, we would say, “Jim is faster than Steve.” You wouldn’t say, “Jim is fast than Steve.” You would say, “Jim is faster than Steve,” because you’re comparing two people. We’re going to call this form of the adjective the comparative form, and you can do this with other adjectives besides “fast”. You could use “tall” and then “taller”, or “pretty” and then “prettier”. We call this the comparative form.


The comparative form is generally found by adding -er to the adjective. This is “fast” right here in its basic form. Then, we add -er to it to make it “faster”. It’s in its comparative form to compare two people or two objects. You could say, “That car is faster than the other one.” Let’s look at the word “fastest”. We changed “fast” into “fastest” by adding -est. This is the superlative form of “fast”.


The superlative form is used when you’re comparing three or more objects or people, so you could say, “Jim is the fastest runner on this track team,” because there are many athletes on a track team and he’s the fastest. You could say, “This is the fastest car that this dealership sells.” Its used when you’re comparing three or more things. Remember, that’s called the superlative form. Let’s take a look at this played out in some sentences. This first sentence says, “She is a kind person.” “Kind” is the adjective here, because it’s describing “person”.


Now, if we want to look at the comparative form of kind, we would add -er to it to get “kinder”. When we’re comparing her to her sister, we would use “kinder”. “She is kinder that her sister”. “She is a kinder person than her sister.” In this last sentence, we would say, “She is the kindest person in her family.” Because there are three or more people in her family, and she’s the most kind in all of her family, we would say “kindest”; it’s comparing three or more people. Like I said, to get comparative form, you at -er to the adjective.


To get the superlative form, you add -est. Sometimes, adjectives are not always that easy. There are some words which we call irregular pronouns. Take the word “good” for example. “He is a good piano player.” If you say that he is “gooder” than he used to be, in other words that he’s improved, you wouldn’t say that he is “gooder” that he used to be. That doesn’t make sense. The next world would be “better”. “He is better than it used to be.” “He is a better piano player than John.” If you wanted to say, “He is the bestest player there’s ever been,” that doesn’t make sense either. You would say, “He is the best player that there has ever been.” “He is the best player out of all of his brothers.” You see here that, even in this comparative form and superlative form, even though this is kind of irregular, -er still exists in the comparative form like it does with the word “faster”. -est still exists in the superlative form like it did in “fastest”.


Let’s look at one more kind of funny word. We have the adjective “happy”. If we want to change this to the comparative form, we can’t leave the “y”. We have to change the “y” to an “i”. If we write it like that, it does make sense. “Happier”. The superlative form would be “happiest”, because if you left this “i” right here as a “y”, that wouldn’t be grammatically correct. It needs to have an “i” right here instead of a “y”.


The important thing to take from this session is that you have an adjective in its regular form, which then can be changed to the comparative form when comparing it between itself and one other thing. When you’re comparing two people or two objects, you use the comparative form. When you’re comparing three or more people or objects, if you’re comparing three people to see who’s the fastest, then you use the superlative form. If you’re comparing 25 people to see who is the fastest, you still use the superlative form.



Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 07/10/2018
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