We use comparatives to compare two things, places or people.
She is taller than her husband.
Superlatives are used, however, to show the difference between more than two things, places or people.
Paris is the biggest city in France.
Now watch the following video and make/take notes.
So, to form comparatives and superlatives, you need to know the number of syllables in the adjective. Syllables are like “sound beats.”
- “find” contains one syllable,
- but “finding” contains two — find and ing.
Rules to form comparatives and superlatives
1. One syllable adjective ending in a silent ‘e’ — nice
- Comparative — add ‘r’ — nicer
- Superlative — add ‘st’ — nicest
2. One syllable adjective ending in a consonant, a vowel and another consonant — big
- Comparative — the consonant is doubled and ‘er’ is added —bigger
- Superlative — the consonant is doubled and ‘est’ is added—biggest
3. One syllable adjective ending in more than one consonant or more than a vowel (or long vowels) — high, cheap, soft.
- Comparative — ‘er’ is added — higher, cheaper, softer.
- Superlative — ‘est is added — highest, cheapest , softest.
4. A two syllable adjective ending in ‘y’ — happy
- Comparative — ‘y’ becomes ‘i’ and ‘er’ is added — happier
- Superlative — ‘y’ becomes ‘i’ and ‘est’ is added — happiest
5. Two syllable or more adjectives without ‘y’ at the end — exciting
- Comparative — more + the adjective + than — more exciting than
- Superlative — more + the adjective + than — the most exciting
- The Nile River is longer and more famous than the Thames.
- Egypt is hotter than Sweden.
- Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
- This is one of the most exciting films I have ever seen.
Irregular comparatives and superlatives
To express similarities use the following structure:
|… as + adjective + as …|
- Mike is as intelligent as Nancy.
- Larry is as popular as Oprah.
Comparative and superlative exercises
Complete the sentences with the most appropriate comparative or superlative phrase of the adjective given.
1. Mary is ____________________ (lazy) student in the class.
2. Rob’s apartment is _________________ (nice) mine.
3. Elephants are ____________________ (fat) camels.
4. Kim is _______________________ (small) of all my friends.
5. I think tornadoes are _______________________ (bad) hurricanes because they occur more often and are much more unpredictable.
6. Laura speaks English ______________________ (good) Susan.
And now the funniest practice ever! With songs! Listen and complete. 😉