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COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES

AS + ADJECTIVE + AS
To compare people, places, events or things, when there is no difference, use as + adjective + as:

--> Peter is 24 years old. John is 24 years old. Peter is as old as John.
--> Moscow is as cold as St. Petersburg in the winter.
--> Ramona is as happy as Raphael.
--> Einstein is as famous as Darwin.
--> A tiger is as dangerous as a lion.

NOT AS + ADJECTIVE + AS
Difference can also be shown by using not so/as ...as:
--> Mont Blanc is not as high as Mount Everest.
--> Norway is not as sunny as Thailand
--> A bicycle is not as expensive as a car.


COMPARATIVE + THAN
To compare the difference between two people, things or events.

--> Mt. Everest is higher than Mt. Blanc.
--> Thailand is sunnier than Norway.
--> A car is more expensive than a bicycle.
--> Albert is more intelligent than Arthur.



COMPARISONS OF QUANTITY
To show no difference: --> as much as , as many as, as few as, as little as
as many as / as few as countable nouns; as much as / as little as + uncountable nouns

With countable nouns:
--> They have as many children as us.
--> We have as many customers as them.
--> Tom has as few books as Jane.

With uncountable nouns:
--> John eats as much food as Peter.
--> Jim has as little food as Sam.
--> You've heard as much news as I have.

COMPARISONS OF QUANTITY
To show difference : more, less, fewer + than
To show no difference : as much as , as many as, as few as, as little as

With countable nouns: more / fewer
--> Eloise has more children than Chantal.
--> Chantal has fewer children than Eloise.
--> There are fewer dogs in Cardiff than in Bristol.

With uncountable nouns: more / less
--> Eloise has more money than Chantal.
--> Chantal has less money than Eloise.
--> I spend less time on homework than you do.

So, the rule is:
MORE + nouns that are countable or uncountable
FEWER + countable nouns
LESS + uncountable nouns

IRREGULAR COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES

These adjectives have completely irregular comparative and superlative forms:

Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

good

better

best

bad

worse

worst

little

less

least

much

more

most

far

further / farther

furthest / farthest

  • We add ‘-er’ for the comparative and ‘-est’ for the superlative of one-syllable adjectives and adverbs.
  • We use ‘-er’ and ‘-est’ with some two-syllable adjectives.
  • We use ‘more’ for the comparative and ‘most’ for the superlative of most two-syllable adjectives, all longer adjectives, and adverbs ending in ‘-ly’.
  • Some common adjectives and adverbs have irregular forms.

1. We add ‘-er’ for the comparative form and ‘-est’ for the superlative form of one-syllable adjectives and adverbs. If they end in ‘-e’, you add ‘-r’ and ‘-st’.

cheap
safe
=> cheaper
safer
=> cheapest
safest

cold
fast
hard
light
poor
quick
rough
small
weak
young
  ~
close
large
nice
wide

They worked harder.

I've found a nicer hotel.

If they end in a single vowel and consonant (except ‘-w’), you double the consonant.

big => bigger => biggest

fat hot sad thin wet

The day grew hotter.

Henry was the biggest of them.

2. With two-syllable adjectives ending in a consonant followed by ‘-y’, you change the ‘-y’ to ‘-i’ and add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’.

happy => happier => happiest

angry
busy
dirty
easy
friendly
funny
heavy
lucky
silly
tiny

It couldn't be easier.

That is the funniest bit of the film.

3. We use ‘more’ for the comparative and ‘most’ for the superlative of most two-syllable adjectives, all longer adjectives, and adverbs ending in ‘-ly’.

careful
more careful
most careful
=> beautiful
more beautiful
most beautiful
=> seriously
more seriously
most seriously

Be more careful next time.

They are the most beautiful gardens in the world.

It affected Clive most seriously.

Note that for ‘early’ as an adjective or adverb, you use ‘earlier’ and ‘earliest’, not ‘more’ and ‘most’.

4. With some common two-syllable adjectives and adverbs, we can either add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’, or use ‘more’ and ‘most’.

common
cruel
gentle
handsome
likely
narrow
pleasan
polite
simple
stupid

Note that ‘clever’ and ‘quiet’ only add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’.

It was quieter outside.

He was the cleverest man I ever met.

5. We normally use ‘the’ with superlative adjectives in front of nouns, but you can omit ‘the’ after a link verb.

It was the happiest day of my life.

It was one of the most important discoveries.

I was happiest when I was on my own.

WARNING: When ‘most’ is used without ‘the’ in front of adjectives and adverbs, it often means almost the same as ‘very’.

This book was most interesting.

I object most strongly.

6. A few common adjectives and adverbs have irregular comparative and superlative forms.

good/well
bad/badly
far
old
=> better
worse
farther/further
older/elder
=> best
worst
farthest/furthest
oldest/eldest

She would ask him when she knew him better.

She sat near the furthest window.

Note that you use ‘elder’ or ‘eldest’ to say which brother, sister, or child in a family you mean.

Our eldest daughter couldn't come.


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