An adjective is a word that describes a noun. It gives us more information about a person, place, thing, animal, or idea. Examples of adjectives are short, beautiful, and expensive.

In English, the adjective is usually placed before the noun. For example:

  • They live in a big house.
  • We sat on the warm beach.
  • He bought a red car.

However, in some cases, the adjective is placed after the noun. This happens when the sentence uses the verb “to be”.

  • This show is wonderful.
  • English is easy.
  • Your cat is friendly.

Comparative adjectives compare two people, places, or things.

Superlative adjectives compare three or more people, places, or things.

John is tall. basic adjective
Mike is taller than me. comparative adjective
Bob is the tallest player on the team. superlative adjective

The word “than” is often used after the comparative form.

The word “the” is often used before the superlative form.

Comparative Adjectives

Comparative Adjectives: Structure
Basic Adjective Comparative Adjective
one syllable:
• add er
cold colder
one syllable ending in e:
• add r
wide wider
one syllable ending in one vowel and one consonant:
• double the last consonant
• add er
hot hotter
two syllables ending in y:
• drop the y
• add ier
easy easier
happy happier
busy busier
two syllables without y:
• add more + adjective
modern more modern
famous more famous
three or more syllables:
• add more + adjective
delicious more delicious
interesting more interesting
comfortable more comfortable

Comparative adjectives are often followed by than or but.

Examples

Today is cold, but yesterday was colder.
The first test was easier than the second test.
Her house is modern, but his house is more modern.
This class was interesting. That class was more interesting.

Superlative Adjectives

Superlative Adjectives: Structure
Basic Adjective Superlative Adjective
one syllable:
• add the + est
cold the coldest
one syllable ending in e:
• add the + st
wide the widest
one syllable ending with one vowel and one consonant:
• add the
• double the last consonant
• add est
hot the hottest
two syllables ending in y:
• add the
• drop the y
• add iest
easy the easiest
happy the happiest
busy the busiest
two syllables without y:
• add the most + adjective
modern the most modern
famous the most famous
three or more syllables:
• add the most + adjective
delicious the most delicious
interesting the most interesting
comfortable the most comfortable

Superlative adjectives are usually preceded by the.

Examples

It was the hottest day of the year.
Today was the happiest day of my life.
This is the most popular restaurant in town.
That was the most interesting experience I’ve ever had!

Comparison: Basic, Comparative, Superlative Adjectives
Basic Adjective Comparative Adjective Superlative Adjective
cold colder the coldest
wide wider the widest
hot hotter the hottest
easy easier the easiest
happy happier the happiest
busy busier the busiest
modern more modern the most modern
famous more famous the most famous
delicious more delicious the most delicious
interesting more interesting the most interesting
comfortable more comfortable the most comfortable
Common Exceptions
Basic Adjective Comparative Adjective Superlative Adjective
good better the best
bad worse the worst
little less the least
many more the most

Examples

This song is good.
That song is better. (It is always wrong to use “more better”.)
The last song is the best.

Practice

Write the comparative and superlative forms of each adjective.

Exceptions
# Basic Adjective Comparative Adjective Superlative Adjective
1 slow
2 noisy
3 sad
4 intelligent
5 expensive
6 bad
7 difficult
8 friendly
9 comfortable
10 quiet
11 dangerous
12 careful
13 smart
14 important
15 fast

Answers

1. slow, slower, the slowest
2. heavy, heavier, the heaviest
3. sad, sadder, the saddest
4. intelligent, more intelligent, the most intelligent
5. expensive, more expensive, the most expensive
6. bad, worse, the worst
7. difficult, more difficult, the most difficult
8. friendly, friendlier, the friendliest
9. comfortable, more comfortable, the most comfortable
10. quiet, quieter, the quietest
11. dangerous, more dangerous, the most dangerous
12. careful, more careful, the most careful
13. smart, smarter, the smartest
14. important, more important, the most important
15. fast, faster, the fastest
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