The comparative and the superlative in English -

The comparative and the superlative in English

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The comparative and the superlative in English


  • Formation of the comparative and superlative
  • Elements to consider…
  • Comparison of two elements
  • Comparison of more than two elements
  • Form comparative and superlative

When we want to compare two or more nouns, adjectives or adverbs we use the comparative and superlative forms. Grammatically, the main difference is between comparing 2 items or comparing more than 2 items . To make the comparative form of adjectives (like “bigger” or “more expensive”) and the superlative form (like “biggest” or “most expensive”), we first need to know how many syllables there are in the adjective.

In addition, and as a personal advice, we will tell you not to forget to certify your knowledge on platforms such as examenexam .

Formation of the comparative and superlative

Two-syllable adjectives can form the comparative by adding -er or preceding the adjective with more . These adjectives form the superlative by adding -est or preceding the adjective with most. … For adjectives that end in y, change the y to an i before adding the ending.

Superlative adjectives are used to describe an object that is at the upper or lower limit of a quality (the highest, the smallest, the fastest, the highest). They are used in sentences where a subject is compared to a group of objects. Noun (subject) + verb + the + superlative adjective + noun object

Comparative adjectives compare one person or thing with another and allow us to tell whether a person or thing has more or less one particular quality:

  • This car is more expensive than my last one.

Este auto es más caro que el anterior.

Superlative adjectives describe that a person or thing has more qualities than all the other people or things in a group:

  • Joe used to be the slowest runner in the class.

Joe solía ser el corredor más lento de la clase.

It must be taken into account that:

Superlatives generally start with the definite article the “the” in front of them, since it is referring to a specific thing, which is most something – tallest, coolest, scariest “more something” – taller, cooler, scarier , etc. – compared to all other similar things.

And of course, since we are speaking in English, there are exceptions to the “-er / -est” rule! Not all comparatives can end in “-er” and not all superlatives can end in “-est”. Here are some examples:

  • This is the goodest summer I’ve ever experienced. WRONG!

Este es el verano más bueno que he experimentado. ¡INCORRECTO!

  • This is the best summer I’ve ever experienced. RIGHT!

Este es el mejor verano que he experimentado. ¡CORRECTO!

  • The weather is much badder today than yesterday. WRONG!

El clima es mucho más malo hoy que ayer. ¡INCORRECTO

  • The weather is much worse today than yesterday. RIGHT!

El tiempo es mucho peor hoy que ayer. ¡CORRECTO!

  • This is the confusingest weather we’ve ever had. WRONG!

Este es el clima más confuso que hemos tenido. ¡INCORRECTO!

  • This is the most confusing weather we’ve ever had. RIGHT!

Este es el clima más confuso que hemos tenido. ¡CORRECTO!

Comparison of 2 elements

To compare two elements, we use the comparative :

  • I am big, he is bigger.

Yo soy grande, él es más grande.

  • She works carefully, he works more carefully.

Ella trabaja con cuidado, él trabaja con más cuidado.

We often use this form in this pattern:

{comparative} + {than} / {comparativo} + {que}

  • He is taller than me.

Él es más alto que yo.

  • We are more efficient than you.

Somos más eficientes que tú.

Comparison of more than 2 elements

To compare more than two elements, we use the superlative:

  • Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system.

Júpiter es el planeta más grande del sistema solar.

  • In the company, Sandra works the most carefully.

En la empresa, Sandra es la que trabaja con más cuidado

If the context is clear, we don’t need to use a full comparison. We can say:

  • This book is more difficult.

Este libro es más difícil.

The rest of the sentence is implicit:

  • This book is more difficult (than that book).

Este libro es más difícil (que ese libro).

We often use the superlative with the present perfect simple like this:

{superlative}… {present perfect + always}

  • It was the most boring film I have ever seen.

Fue la película más aburrida que he visto.

  • That was the most disgusting meal I have ever had to eat.

Esa fue la comida más repugnante que he tenido que comer.

Forming comparative and superlative

 Small words add -er and -est to make comparative and superlative . Big words use more and most

adjetive comparative superlative



Más pequeño


El más pequeño



More extensive

Más extenso

The most Extensive

El más extenso

Many More Most
Bad Worse Worst
Good better best
Able abler ablest
Handsome Handsomer handsomest
Gentle Gentler gentlest
Late (time)


later latest
Late (order) latter last
Far (place) farther farthest
Far (time) further furthest
Little (size) littler littlest
Little (amount)


less least

(when defining objects)

older oldest

(when defining a person)

elder eldest


stranger strangest
Polite Politer Politest politer politest
Few fewer fewest
Friendly friendlier friendliest
Kind kinder kindest


safer safest
Simple simpler simplest
Sorry sorrier sorriest
True truer truest
Weird weirder weirdest


drier driest
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1 Response

  1. Damaris Soto Beltran says:

    Helped me too much


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