COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES

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 + consonant: double 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 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