Comparatives are adjectives used to compare two nouns (things or people).
Example: She is taller than her husband.
Before continuing, let’s look at three degrees of adjectives.
Positive degree: It is used when no comparison is made.
Example: Agnes is a tall woman.
Comparative degree: This is used when two persons or things are compared.
Example: Agnes is taller than her husband.
Superlative degree: It is used while comparing more than two persons or things.
Example: Agnes is the tallest woman in the village
Some guidelines concerning comparisons
1. We usually add -er and -est to one-syllable words.
Old→ older → oldest
Long→ longer → longest
Tall→ taller → tallest
2. Adjectives that end in -e get -r or –st
Late →later → latest
Nice →nicer → nicest
Large →larger → largest
3. If a one-syllable adjective ends in consonant-vowel-consonant, the final consonant is doubled before adding -er or -est.
Fat → fatter → fattest
Big → bigger → biggest
Sad → sadder → saddest
4. A short adjective which ends in -y preceded by a consonant, this -y changes into -i- before adding -er or -est.
Easy → easier → easiest
Busy → busier → busiest
Dirty → dirtier → dirtiest
Pretty → prettier → prettiest
5. Adjectives with three or more syllables use ‘more’ or and ‘most’.
Careful → more careful → careful
Interesting → more interesting → most interesting
Expensive → more expensive → most expensive
Important → more important → most important
6. Some two-syllable adjectives that do not end in -y can take either -er/-est or more/most.
Quiet → quieter/more quiet → quietest/most quiet
Polite → politer/more polite →politest/most polite
Narrow → narrower/more narrow → narrowest/most narrow
Simple → simpler/more simple → simplest/most simple
7. Some adjectives are irregular. They change anyhow.
Good→ better→ best
Bad→ worse→ worst
Much→ more→ most
Little→ less→ least
Far→ farther→ farthest
8. In comparative form we use ‘than’ after adjectives and use ‘the’ before adjectives which are in superlative form.
My house is larger than hers.
This story is more important than the previous one.
Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
This road is the least dangerous in Rwanda.
8. We can use ‘as…as’ while comparing two things which are the same.
Nicholas is as bright as Pamela.
You are as intelligent as your sister.