Irregular Comparison of Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllables form their comparative and superlative
degrees (or forms) in an irregular way. The rules below will help you understand and utilize
these forms.

➲Use -er, more, or less to form the comparative degree of many two-syllable modifiers or

➲ Adverbs that end in -ly always use more or less to form the comparative degree and
most and least to form the superlative degree.

➲ When forming the comparative and superlative degrees of modifiers (adjectives and
adverbs) that have two syllables, β€˜β€˜Let your ear be your gear.’’ In other words, if adding
-er or -est makes the word hard or clumsy to pronounce, use more (or less) and most (or
least) instead.

➲ Modifiers of three or more syllables, such as intelligent, cumbersome, and beautiful,
always form their comparative degrees with more (or less) and their superlative degrees
with most (or least). Examples include less magnificent, more interesting, and most

Positive Degree Comparative Degree Superlative Degree
lovely more lovely most lovely
funny funnier funniest
crowded less crowded least crowded
plentiful more plentifu l most plentiful