Comparatives and Superlatives: Definition, Examples and Exercises | albert.io (2023)

Comparatives and Superlatives: Definition, Examples and Exercises | albert.io (1)

Comparatives and superlatives are special types of adjectives used whencompare two or more things. The hardest part of using comparatives and superlatives is making sure we spell them correctly, but with a little practice, comparatives and superlatives can be mastered in no time.

In this post, we'll look at what comparatives and superlatives are, the rules for how to form these adjectives correctly, and how to use them effectively in a sentence.

After reviewing the information below,test yourself with a post-assessment quizePractice here with our questions aligned to high quality standards.

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Basics of comparatives and superlatives

Comparatives and Superlatives: Definition, Examples and Exercises | albert.io (2)

What is a comparative?

Comparativeare words used to describe a noun by comparing it to another noun. We tend to think ofIt is' Words likegrandeIt isorkleinIt is, but they can be a bit more complicated.

The way we form comparative adjectives is based on the number of syllables in the adjective and whether the adjective ends in the letter "y" or not.

What is a superlative?

non-superlative adjectivesare words used to describe a noun when compared to two or more nouns of greater or lesser degree. Do you think: big, bigger,bigger, or small, minor,the smaller.

As with comparative adjectives, adding “est” is not always easy. The number of syllables and whether the adjective ends in the letter “y” or not also help us to form an adjective in the superlative.

monosyllabic adjectives

Let's look at a graph that shows thecomparativeeSuperlativeWord forms for the most basic monosyllabic adjectives, where we add "It is' for thecomparativee 'It is' for theSuperlative.*Observation: When the adjective follows the CVC or the spelling consonant, vowel, consonant, the last consonant is doubled.

ADJECTIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

Grande

Bigger

bigger

Grande

Bigger

very high

Klein

Kleiner

smaller

warm

Heisser

hotter

Comparatives:

  • I'mMore quicklyas my friend.
  • Arizona isheisserlike Alaska.

Non-superlative adjectives:

  • she is uniquevery highStudent.
  • that was theshorterseries movie.

Notice the other words around the comparative and superlative adjectives.most comparisonsFollowed by 'What if', emost superlativesfollow the word'a’.

two syllable adjectives

Now let's look at a graph showing thecomparativeeSuperlativeWord forms for two-syllable adjectives.Comparativewith two syllables can be formed by adding the 'It is' endsoradding the words "more' or 'any less' before the adjective.

Fornon-superlative adjectives, do it 'It is' ends, but use the word 'most' or 'at least' instead of 'more' or 'less'.

ADJECTIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

Feliz

happier

The happier

Crazy

Crazy

more crazy

Nervous

more/less nervous

more/less nervous

Festival

more/less massive

more/less massive

Still

Quieter or more/less silent

The quietest or the quietest/the quietest

*Observation: in many cases any form of comparative or superlative can be used, but there is usually a "more common" usage. Furthermore, the adjective does not have to end in "y" to use "er" or "est", as the last example in the table shows. Your ear will usually be able to tell you what sounds best.

Comparatives:

  • she tends toless passivelike your brother.
  • This questionnaire iseasierthan the last one.

Non-superlative adjectives:

  • autumn is thebusyshopping season.
  • this is thatASAPDelivery type.

Notice again howcomparative adjectivesFollowed by 'What if', enon-superlative adjectivesfollow the word'a’.

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Adjectives of three or more syllables

The graph below shows thecomparativeeSuperlativeWord forms for adjectives with three or more syllables. In these cases we always add "more' or 'any less' beforecomparative adjectivee 'most' or 'at least' beforeadjective superlatives.

ADJECTIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

mysterious

more/less mysterious

more/less mysterious

Complicated

more/less complicated

More complicated/less complicated

Amazing

more/less wonderful

more/less wonderful

Comparatives:

  • I tend toquite shythan my friends when I try new things.
  • The noise in the pool wasless irritatingthan the noise on the beach.

Non-superlative adjectives:

  • His second compilation was thismost extraordinaryOf everything.
  • these were themless comfortableSofas I've sat on.

Irregular adjectives

when usingcomparativeeSuperlativeAdjectives, it's important to note that there are a handful of themIrregular adjectivesthat do not follow the above rules. The table below shows these irregular adjectives along with their comparative and superlative forms.

ADJECTIVE

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

intestine

To improve

Preferably

bad or sick

Worse

Worse

small amount)

Any less

At least

Long distance)

Proceed

The farest

wide (expansion)

Proceed

The farest

many or a lot

More

Most

Comparatives:

  • I madeto improvethan the rest of my class in the finals.
  • She ranProceedin this race than the last.

Non-superlative adjectives:

  • that was theFrom othersbirthday present ever!
  • I bought thoseat leastexpensive souvenir I could find.

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2 tips for recognizing and using comparative and superlative adjectives

Tip #1: Rearrange your sentence to use different forms of the adjective

We can use different forms of the adjective if we adapt our sentence to the adjective.

Here are some examples we use for monosyllabic adjectives:

Comparative example:

  • I ranMore quicklyas my friend.

Now let's rearrange the sentence so we can use theSuperlativeForm des Adjectives.

  • Between my friend and me, I ran itASAP.

Here two people are compared; However, if we limit the nouns we are comparing, we can use thisSuperlativeadjective form. Note that this sentence follows the others.Superlativecharacteristic of the use of the word "a' before the adjective.

Superlative example:

  • that was theshorterseries movie.

Now let's rearrange the sentence so we can use thecomparativeForm des Adjectives.

  • that wasshorterthan any other film in the series.

It's still being compared to two or more movies here, and we're still describing it as the lowest. By adding'any others' before 'serial film' we can use thiscomparativeadjective form. Note that this sentence now follows the others as well.comparativecharacteristic of the use of the word "What if' after the adjective.

Tip #2: Think about the spelling rules before forming the comparative or superlative form of the adjective

Every time we change the end of a word, we have to take into account how the word is usually spelled.

If the adjective already ends in "e", just add "r' for thecomparativee 'st' for theSuperlative.

  • Longewillwiderorwider.
  • Bravewillbraverorthe bravest.
Comparatives and Superlatives: Definition, Examples and Exercises | albert.io (3)

When the adjective ends in consonant + short vowel + consonant (CVC), we usually double the last consonant.

  • GrandewillBiggerorbigger.
  • warmwillHeisserorhotter.

If the adjective ends in "y", we change the "y" to e "i".

  • EarlywillEarlierorearlier.
  • Moronwilldumberorthe most stupid.

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Applying the Basics: Review and Practice of Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Now that you understanderaComparatives and superlatives are, andlike theTo use them correctly in a sentence, we practice identifying them and verifying correct usage.

Remember that comparative adjectives describe a noun by comparing it to another noun. Superlative adjectives describe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns in the highest or lowest degree.

Practice and review of comparative adjectives

Complete the following short exercise to assess your mastery of comparative adjectives.

In the following sentences, select the option that says exactly thatcomparativeadjective form. Remember that a comparative adjective describes a noun by comparing it to another noun.

1. Lucas is (older/older) than Lily.

  • Older

2. Alaska is (colder/colder) than Florida.

  • colder

3. I am (more/worried) about this exam than the previous one.

  • more worried

4. This map is (more/more confusing) than my calculus homework.

  • more confused

5. I ran (further/further) than my best friend yesterday.

  • Proceed

Practice and Repetition of Superlative Adjectives

Complete the following short exercise to assess your mastery of superlative adjectives.

In the following sentences, select the option that says exactly thatSuperlativeadjective form. Remember that a superlative adjective describes a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns at the highest or lowest level.

1. Playing with your family is the (funniest/most entertaining) way to pass the time when you're locked in the house.

  • Funnier

2. My brother is the (most annoying) person you can have around when you're looking for peace of mind.

  • most annoying

3. We hope to go to the (nicest/most beautiful) tropical island as soon as possible.

  • prettier

4. Reading a good book is the (coziest) way to relax.

  • more slowly

5. Multitasking is the (least efficient/least efficient) method of productivity.

  • the least efficient

Comparative and superlative exercises

Use your knowledge of bothcomparativeenon-superlative adjectivesin the exercise below.

Identify thecomparativeeSuperlativeadjectives in the sentences below. There can be more than one in a sentence. Be sure to indicate which are comparatives and which are superlatives.

1. I did the less complicated homework before starting the harder work.

  • Comparison: more demanding
  • Superlative: the least complicated

2. She is taller than the other girls in her class, but she is not the tallest student in her class.

  • Comparison: bigger
  • superlative: highest

3. I find direct instruction to be the easiest way to learn new material.

  • Superlative: the simplest

4. I believe the most obvious answer is the correct one most of the time.

  • Comparison: most often
  • Superlative: more obvious

5. First place in the finals was the most rewarding achievement after a tougher-than-expected section performance.

  • Comparison: heavier
  • Superlative: most rewarding

You can find more exercises oncomparative and superlativeContent about Alberto.

Now start practicing on Albert

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Try It Yourself: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives Test

Do you feel confident in your understanding of comparative and superlative adjectives?

Take this short quiz to see what you've learned:

1. Do comparative or superlative adjectives have the highest degree of quality?

  • Answer: superlative adjectives
  • Correct Explanation: This is correct!non-superlative adjectivesDescribe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns of the highest or lowest degree.ComparativeDescribe a noun by comparing it to another noun.
  • Incorrect explanation: sorry, this is not correct. To notice,ComparativeDescribe a noun by comparing it to another noun.non-superlative adjectivesDescribe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns of the highest or lowest degree.

2. Do comparative or superlative adjectives sometimes use the additional modifier "more"?

  • Answer: Comparative adjectives
  • Correct Explanation: This is correct! SinceComparativedon't describe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns in the highest or lowest degree, they can use modifiers like "more".
  • Incorrect explanation: sorry, this is not correct. To notice,non-superlative adjectivesdescribe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns at the highest or lowest level, so they use modifiers like "more" or "less".Comparativedon't describe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns in the highest or lowest degree, they can use modifiers like "more".

3. Does the following sentence use a comparative or superlative adjective?

Chicagoans generally agree that deep dish pizza is better than thin crust pizza.

  • Answer: Comparative adjective
  • Correct Explanation: This is correct! In this sentence, deep dish pizza is compared to thin crust pizza. The word "better" is acomparative adjectivebecause it compares one type of pizza with another.
  • Incorrect explanation: sorry, this is not correct. To notice,non-superlative adjectivesDescribe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns of the highest or lowest degree. In this sentence, deep dish pizza is compared to thin crust pizza. The word "better" is acomparative adjectivebecause it compares one type of pizza with another.

4. Is the underlined part of the sentence below a comparative or superlative adjective?

The tree in front of my house is the onevery highneighborhood tree.

  • Answer: superlative adjective
  • Correct Explanation: This is correct!non-superlative adjectivesDescribe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns of the highest or lowest degree. The word "tallest" describes the tallest tree compared to other trees in the vicinity.
  • Incorrect explanation: sorry, this is not correct. remember, rememberComparativeDescribe a noun by comparing it to another noun.non-superlative adjectivesDescribe a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns of the highest or lowest degree. The word "tallest" describes the tallest tree compared to other trees in the vicinity.

5. In which of the following sentences is a comparative adjective used correctly?

A. I thought your portion was bigger than mine.

B. I thought your portion was bigger than mine.

  • Answer: B
  • Correct Explanation: This is correct!Comparativethey usually end with the letters "er" because they describe a comparison with another noun.
  • Incorrect explanation: sorry, this is not correct.non-superlative adjectivesthey usually end with the letters "est" because they describe a comparison with two or more nouns in the highest or lowest degree. Also, superlative adjectives are usually not followed by the word "like".Comparativethey usually end with the letters "er" because they describe a comparison with another noun.

6. In which of the following sentences is an adjective correctly used in the superlative?

A. That was the least memorable movie I've seen in a long time.

B. That was the least memorable movie I've seen in a long time.

  • Answer: A
  • Correct Explanation: This is correct!non-superlative adjectiveswith three syllables, use the words "least" or "most" because they describe a comparison with two or more nouns in the highest or lowest degree.
  • Incorrect explanation: sorry, this is not correct.Comparativewith three syllables, use the words "more" or "less" because they describe a comparison with another noun.non-superlative adjectiveswith three syllables, use the words "least" or "most" because they describe a comparison with two or more nouns in the highest or lowest degree.

You can find more exercises with adjectives in the comparative and superlative in our exercise on Albert.io:comparative and superlative.

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Teacher space for comparatives and superlatives

While it is true that comparative and superlative adjectives are a basic grammar skill, the English Language Common Core Progressive Skills Tableshows that even basic skills "require sustained attention in higher grades as they are applied to increasingly challenging writing and speaking."

For specific rulesIf you're dealing with adjectives in the comparative and superlative, check out the Common Core State Standards website!

Albertscomparative and superlativeExercise can be used for so much more than homework!

OurAssessmentscan be used as pre and post tests to measure student progress. Our pre-made quizzes can be used as ringtones, exit tickets and much more!

In addition to our pre-built tests, you can also use our tasks feature to create your own quizzes and quizzes.

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Summary of comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives

ANcomparative adjectiveis a word that describes a noun by comparing it to another noun. Comparative adjectives usually end in "er" and are followed by the word "than".

ANSuperlatives Adjectiveis a word that describes a noun by comparing it to two or more nouns in the highest or lowest degree. Superlative adjectives usually end in "est" and are preceded by the word "the".

Comparative and superlative adjectives are words that we often see and use in our writing. Be sure to structure your comparative and superlative adjectives according to the number of syllables in the adjective.

Practice creates masters! use ourcomparative and superlativePractice com Albertgrammar course!

Need help preparing for your grammar test?

Comparatives and Superlatives: Definition, Examples and Exercises | albert.io (4)

Albert has hundreds of grammar practice questions with detailed explanations to help you master the concepts.

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