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How to Use Degree of Adjective - Comparative and Superlative for English

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

The English Language

The Explanation

We all know that the Adjective change in form when they show comparison. A Comparative and Superlative degree of Adjective is used when there is a comparison between the people and things.

The Comparative Degree- shows the greater or lesser degree

  • e.g.: bigger, prettier, better

The Superlative Degree- shows the greatest or least degree

  • e.g.: richest, prettiest, etc

In this post, we are going to explore the Comparative and Superlative of Adjective in more detail.

Rules to use the Comparative and Superlative degree of Adjective

To make the comparative form of adjectives (like 'bigger' or 'more expensive') and the superlative form (like 'biggest' or 'most expensive'), we also need to know how many syllables are in the adjective.

  • Adjectives with one syllable

  1. With the Adjective with only one syllable, we add 'er' to make the comparative form and 'est' to make the superlative form.

e.g.: Cold -colder / coldest, Small- smaller / smallest

  1. If there is one vowel followed by one consonant at the end of the adjective, we often double the consonant.

e.g.: Big- bigger / biggest, thin → thinner / thinnest

3. If the adjective ends in 'y', this often changes to 'i'.

e.g.: Dry - drier / driest

4. If the adjective ends in 'e', we don't add another 'e', just 'r'.

e.g.: nice- nicer / nicest, large- larger / largest

5. With some adjectives, we have to use 'more' or 'most' with, even though they only have one syllable.

e.g.: real- more real / most real, wrong- more wrong / most wrong

  • Adjectives with two syllables

For adjectives with two syllables, we generally use 'more' or 'most'.

e.g.: careful- more careful / most careful

  • Adjectives with more than two syllables

Adjectives with more than two syllables can only make their comparative by using 'more' and their superlative by using 'most'.

e.g.: intelligent- more intelligent / most intelligent; beautiful-more beautiful / most beautiful

  • Irregular adjectives

There are also some irregular adjectives which we just need to learn the forms for.

e.g.: good → better → best; bad → worse → worst; far → further → furthest; Little → less → least; Much → more → most

How to use comparative & superlative degree of Adjectives

1. We use comparative adjectives to describe people and things:


  • We need a bigger house

  • I’m feeling hungrier now

2. We use than when we want to compare one thing with another.


  • New York is much bigger than Seattle He is a better player than Jim.

3. When we want to describe how something or someone changes we use comparative degree of adjectives with ‘and’

  • e.g.: Everything is getting more and more expensive. Grandmother is looking older and older these days

4. We use ‘the’ with comparative adjectives to show that one thing depends on another


  • When you drive faster it is more dangerous= The faster you drive, the more dangerous it is.

Superlative Degree of Adjectives

1. We use ‘the’ with a superlative degree of adjective


  • That’s the best book I have read this year

  • I have three brothers; Jack is the oldest and Laura is the youngest

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