Comparison of Adjectives

Positive Form

Use the positive form of the adjective if the comparison contains one of the following expressions:

as … as

Example: Jane is as tall as John.

not as … as / not so … as

Example: John is not as tall as Arnie.

Comparative Form and Superlative Form (-er/-est)

  • one-syllable adjectives (clean, new, cheap)
  • two-syllable adjectives ending in -y or -er (easy, happy, pretty, dirty, clever)
positive form comparative form superlative form
clean cleaner (the) cleanest

Exceptions in spelling when adding -er / -est

  • silent e is dropped

    Example: late-later-latest

  • final y after a consonant becomes i

    Example: easy-easier-easiest

  • final consonant after short, stressed vowel is doubled

    Example: hot-hotter-hottest

Comparative Form and Superlative Form (more/most)

  • adjectives of three or more syllables (and two-syllable adjectives not ending in -y/-er)
positive form comparative form superlative form
difficult more difficult most difficult

Comparative Form and Superlative Form (irregular comparisons)

positive form comparative form superlative form
goodbetterbest
bad / illworseworst
little (amount)lessleast
little (size)smallersmallest
much / manymoremost
far (place + time)furtherfurthest
far (place)fartherfarthest
late (time)laterlatest
late (order)latterlast
near (place)nearernearest
near (order)-next
old (people and things)olderoldest
old (people)eldereldest

Exercise on Comparison of Adjectives