Comparatives are adjectives used to compare two things or people and to show the superiority, inferiority, or equality of one thing compared to another.
a. Comparative of inferiority
Comparative of inferiority is used to compare two things by showing the inferiority of one thing compared to another.
Form: A + verb + less + adjective + than +B
Kamana is less intelligent than Kabera.
Father is less old than grandfather.
My car is less expensive than yours.
Jane is less pretty than Margaret
My child is less smart than Alice’s.
She was less busy than her mother.
Days are less cold than nights.
My life is less complicated than yours.
Teddy is less attractive than Patricia.
b. Comparative of equality
Comparative of equality is used to say that two things or people are the same in some way.
Form: A + verb + as + adjective + as + B
A + verb + not + as + adjective + as + B
He was as tall as his sister.
Are you as fast as your brother?
Nicholas is as bright as Pamela.
You are as intelligent as your sister.
At the sea, I felt as free as a bird.
Sciences are as interesting as Languages.
Radisson Blu Hotel is not as expensive as Kigali Marriott Hotel
Janet is not as kind as David.
Your English is not as good as hers.
c. Comparative of superiority
Comparative of superiority is used to compare two things by showing the superiority of one thing compared to another.
Ex: She is taller than her husband
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 that 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’.
Ridiculous → more ridiculous →most ridiculous
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. Two-syllable adjectives ending in –ed, -ing, -ful, or-less always use more /most.
Worried → more worried → most worried
Boring → more boring → most boring
Careful→ more careful → most careful
Useless → more useless → most useless
8. Some adjectives are irregular. They change anyhow.
Good→ better→ best
Bad→ worse→ worst
Much→ more→ most
Little→ less→ least
Far→ farther→ farthest
9. 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 most dangerous in Rwanda.