Comparative and superlative adjectives

-We use -ER for the comparative of short adjectives and adverbs:




-We prefer -ER with some two syllable adjectives, especially adjectives ending in -Y. For example: Lucky-Luckier Funny-Funnier Easy-Easier

-We use more...(not -er) for other two-syllable adjectives and longer adjectives:

More modern

More serious

More expensive.

-We also use more... for adverbs which end in -ly:

More slowly

More seriously

More quietly

-Before the comparative of adjectives and adverbs you can use:

a bit,  a little,  much,  a lot,  far (= a lot)

-Some adjectives and adverbs have irregular comparative forms:

good well better

bad badly worse

far further furthest

Old and Elder

The comparative of old is older:

We use elder when we are talking about members of a family. We say (my) elder brother/sister/son/daughter.

We use elder only before a noun.

- Sometimes you can use two comparatives together, this construction can be used with adjectives or adverbs to refer to a trend. For example: harder and harder, more and more, and more difficult. We use this structure to say that something is changing continuously:

It’s becoming harder and harder to find a job.

-This construction can be used with adjectives or adverbs to make comparisons between two things or people:

I’m as tall as my brother.

-In negative sentences so can be used instead of the first as:

Cats aren’t so friendly as dogs.

-We also say twice as.. as, three times, etc.

Their house is about three times as big as ours.

-We say the same as (not ‘the same like’):

Ann’s salary is the same as mine.

-After than and as it is more usual to say me/him/her/them/us when there is no verb.

You are taller than I am. You are taller than me.


-We use -EST or MOST... to form the superlative of adjectives and adverbs. In general we use:

-EST for shorter words and MOST... for longer words. (The rules are the same as those for the comparative).

Long - Longest

Hot - Hottest

Easy - Easiest

Most Famous

Most Boring

Most Difficult

-Irregular Superlatives:

Good - Best

Bad - Worst

Oldest and eldest

The superlative of old is oldest. We use eldest when we are talking about the members of a family.

-After superlatives, we use In with places:

What’s the longest river in the world?

-We sometimes use Most + adjective (without ‘the’) to mean very:

The book you lent me was most interesting. (= very interesting).

Thank you for the money it was most generous of you (= very generous).

Comparative and superlative adjectives in context

a) More/ -er + than:

I’m taller than my brother.

b) The most / -est:

I’m the tallest student in the class.

c) Less + than / the least:

That film was less interesting than the last one I saw.

Ways of qualifying comparative adjectives:

1- Use these words and phrases to refer to big differences:


a lot


Cars are a lot faster and much more comfortable than bicycles.

2- Use these words and phrases to refer to small differences:

a bit

a little slightly

The weather’s a bit hotter than it was yesterday.

Let's practice...