comparison: comparative and superlative adjectives

  • Short adjectives
  • (adjectives with one syllable; adjectives with two syllables ending in -y)

    ADJECTIVE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE
    old older oldest Most adjectives:
    tall taller tallest + -er, -est.
    cheap cheaper cheapest
    late later latest Adjectives ending
    nice nicer nicest in -e: + -r, -st.
    fat fatter fattest One vowel +
    big bigger biggest one consonant:
    thin thinner thinnest double consonant.
    happy happier happiest Change yto /.
    easy easier easiest

    Note the pronunciation of:
    younger /’jAQga(r)/ longer /’|t5Qgs(r)/ stronger /’strt)r)gs(r)/
    youngest /’jAqgist/ longest /’lt)r]gist/ strongest /’strnngist/

    2 Irregular comparatives and superlatives
    ADJECTIVE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE
    good better best
    bad worse worst
    far farther/further farthest/furthest (see 126)
    old older/elder oldest/eldest (see 299.5)
    The determiners little anti much/many have
    irregular comparatives and superlatives:
    little less least
    much/many more most
    3 Longer adjectives

    (adjectives with two syllables not ending in -y, adjectives with three or more syllables)

    ADJECTIVE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE
    tiring more tiring most tiring
    cheerful more cheerful most cheerful
    handsome more handsome most handsome
    intelligent more intelligent most intelligent
    practical more practical most practical

    84
    70
    7
    Some two-syllable adjectives have two comparatives and superlatives: for example commoner/more common, politest/most polite. We usually prefer the forms with more and most.
    t> For information about how to use comparatives and superlatives, see 85.
    How to make Comparative Adjectives