ESL – Adjectives Part 3 – comparative and superlative adjectives

 

23 May

How to form comparative and superlative adjectives

We usually add –er and –est to one-syllable words to make comparatives and superlatives:

old

older

oldest

long

longer

longest

If an adjective ends in –e, we add –r or –st:

nice

nicer

nicest

large

larger

largest

If an adjective ends in a vowel and a consonant, we double the consonant:

big

bigger

biggest

fat

fatter

fattest

If an adjective ends in a consonant and –y, we change –y to –i and add –er or –est:

happy

happier

happiest

silly

sillier

silliest

We use more and most to make comparatives and superlatives for most two syllable adjectives and for all adjectives with three or more syllables:

careful

more careful

most careful

interesting

more interesting

most interesting

However, with these common two-syllable adjectives, you can either add –er/–r and –est/–st or use more and most:

common

cruel

gentle

handsome

likely

narrow

pleasant

polite

simple

stupid

He is certainly handsomer than his brother.
His brother is handsome, but he is 
more handsome.
She is one of 
the politest people I have ever met.
She is 
the most polite person I have ever met.

The adjectives goodbad and far have irregular comparatives and superlatives:

good

better

best

bad

worse

worst

far

farther/further

farthest/furthest

We use words like veryreally and extremely to make adjectives stronger:

It’s a very interesting story.
Everyone was 
very excited.
It’s a 
really interesting story.
Everyone was 
extremely excited.

We call these words intensifiers. Other intensifiers are:

amazingly

exceptionally

incredibly

particularly

remarkably

unusually

We also use enough to say more about an adjective, but enough comes after its adjective:

If you are seventeen, you are old enough to drive a car.
I can’t wear those shoes. They’re not 
big enough.

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