Comparative and superlative adjectives

The comparative form of an adjective is used for comparing two people or things (e.g., he is taller than me), while the superlative is used for comparing one person or thing with every other member of their group (e.g., he was the tallest boy in the class).

 
Adjectives make their comparative and superlative forms in different ways, depending on the base adjective itself. Here’s a quick-reference guide to the spelling of comparative and superlative adjectives:
 
Adjectives with one syllable
 
In general, if the adjective has one syllable, then the letters -er or -est are added:
warm warmer warmest
quick quicker quickest
tall taller tallest
 
 
Adjectives with one syllable ending in e
 
If the adjective has one syllable and ends in e, just add -r or -st:
late later latest
nice nicer nicest
large larger largest
 
 
Adjectives with two syllables
 
Adjectives with two syllables vary. Some add -er/est or -r/-st:
feeble feebler feeblest
  
Some use the words ‘more’ for the comparative and ‘most’ for the superlative:
famous more famous most famous
  
Many, such as clever, can do either:
clever cleverer/more clever cleverest/most clever
 
 
Adjectives with three syllables or more
 
If the adjective has three syllables or more, then the words ‘more’ and ‘most’ are used: 
interesting more interesting most interesting
attractive more attractive most attractive
 
 
Adjectives that change their spelling
 
Some adjectives change their spelling when forming the comparative and superlative:
 
  • Some one-syllable adjectives that end with a single consonant (e.g., big, wet, sad, fat) double this consonant before adding -er or -est: 
big bigger biggest
wet wetter wettest
sad sadder saddest
 
  • If the adjective ends in y (e.g., happy, greedy, or tidy), change the y to an i and add -er or -est: 
happy happier happiest
greedy greedier greediest
tidy tidier tidiest
 
 
  • Some common adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms that you just have to learn: 
bad worse worst
good better best
little (of a quantity) less least 
much more  most 
 

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