Positive, Comparative, and Superlative Adjectives

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Introduction to Degrees of Adjectives

Every adjective has three forms: the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. The positive is at the bottom of intensity, the comparative is at the middle point, and the superlative is at the highest degree.

Chart for Quick Reference

Positive
Comparative
Superlative
Kevin is a smart boy.
Kevin is smarter than Alex.
Kevin is the smartest boy in the class.
Florida is a famous city.
Florida is more famous than Alaska.
Florida is the most famous city in the country.
This question is tricky.
This question is trickier than any other.
This is the trickiest question of all.

Comparison with Positive Forms

  • The positive form is used to denote that the two compared persons or things have equal degrees of the quality. In this case, the word "as" is used before and after the adjective.

    Example:

    This poem is as lyrical as the other. (Both poems are equally lyrical.)

  • While this is used as negative, it means the two persons or things are not similar.

    Example:

    Math is not as easy as English.

The Function of Comparatives

The comparative form is used to denote one of the two people or things has a stronger or weaker degree of the quality.

Examples:

Roses are more beautiful than any other flowers.

Traveling within one's country is less rewarding than traveling abroad.

The Function of Superlatives

The superlative form is used to denote that a person or thing has the highest degree of a quality within a group.

Examples:

Ana is the most intelligent student in the class.

Which is the highest mountain in the world?

Click on the Circles to Spot the Seven Comparative or Superlative Adjectives

easy
best
smarter
finest
messier
costly
deeper
noisiest
clever
healthiest
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How to Form the Comparative and Superlative

  • For one-syllable adjectives, we form comparatives by adding -er, and superlatives by adding -est.

    Example:

    tall - taller - tallest

  • For two-syllables adjectives, we form comparatives either by adding -es, or preceding the adjectives with "more". We form superlatives by adding -est, or preceding the adjectives with "most".

    Examples:

    happy - happier - happiest

    friendly - more friendly - most friendly

  • For three-or-more-syllable adjectives, we form comparatives by preceding the adjectives with "more" and superlatives by preceding the adjectives with "most".

    Example:

    beautiful - more beautiful - most beautiful

Irregular Comparatives and Superlatives

There are certain adjectives that have irregular forms of comparatives and superlatives.

Examples:

good - better - best

bad - worse - worst

little - less - least


Take a Positive, Comparative, and Superlative Adjective Quiz Now!

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Sample Worksheets

Boost your skills using our free printable Adjective Worksheets.