Comparative and superlative adjectives

Most adjectives have three different forms, the positive, the comparative, and the superlative:

positive

comparative

superlative

sad

sadder

saddest

happy

happier

happiest

unusual

more unusual

most unusual

The comparative form is used for comparing two people or things:

He is taller than me.

This puzzle is easier than the last one.

The book was more interesting than the film.

 

The superlative is used for comparing one person or thing with every other member of their group:

He was the tallest boy in the class.

This puzzle is the easiest in the whole book.

It’s the most interesting book I’ve ever read.

 

As you can see, some adjectives change their spelling when forming their comparative and superlative forms. For more information about this, see Spelling rules and tips.

 

You’ll find that most dictionaries will show you the spellings of adjectives that change their form. For example, if you look up 'happy' in Oxford Dictionaries, you’ll see that the comparative and superlative forms are given in brackets directly after the part of speech:

happyadjective (happier, happiest)

 

Always look up an adjective if you are unsure about how to spell its comparative or superlative form.

 

Read more about adjectives:

Attributive and predicative adjectives

Gradable and non-gradable adjectives

Qualitative and classifying adjectives


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Comparative and superlative adjectives DRAFT