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Яндекс.Метрика

Unit 24. Comparatives and superlatives: forms
(сравнительные и превосходные формы прилагательных: виды)

Main points

1. You add ‘-er’ for the comparative form and ‘-est’ for the superlative form of one-syllable adjectives and adverbs. If they end in ‘-e’, you add ‘-r’ and ‘-st’.

cheap
safe
=> cheaper
safer
=> cheapest
safest

cold
fast
hard
light
poor
quick
rough
small
weak
young
  ~
close
large
nice
wide

They worked harder.

I've found a nicer hotel.

If they end in a single vowel and consonant (except ‘-w’), you double the consonant.

big => bigger => biggest

fat hot sad thin wet

The day grew hotter.

Henry was the biggest of them.

2. With two-syllable adjectives ending in a consonant followed by ‘-y’, you change the ‘-y’ to ‘-i’ and add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’.

happy => happier => happiest

angry
busy
dirty
easy
friendly
funny
heavy
lucky
silly
tiny

It couldn't be easier.

That is the funniest bit of the film.

3. You use ‘more’ for the comparative and ‘most’ for the superlative of most two-syllable adjectives, all longer adjectives, and adverbs ending in ‘-ly’.

careful
more careful
most careful
=> beautiful
more beautiful
most beautiful
=> seriously
more seriously
most seriously

Be more careful next time.

They are the most beautiful gardens in the world.

It affected Clive most seriously.

Note that for ‘early’ as an adjective or adverb, you use ‘earlier’ and ‘earliest’, not ‘more’ and ‘most’.

4. With some common two-syllable adjectives and adverbs, you can either add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’, or use ‘more’ and ‘most’.

common
cruel
gentle
handsome
likely
narrow
pleasan
polite
simple
stupid

Note that ‘clever’ and ‘quiet’ only add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’.

It was quieter outside.

He was the cleverest man I ever met.

5. You normally use ‘the’ with superlative adjectives in front of nouns, but you can omit ‘the’ after a link verb.

It was the happiest day of my life.

It was one of the most important discoveries.

I was happiest when I was on my own.

WARNING: When ‘most’ is used without ‘the’ in front of adjectives and adverbs, it often means almost the same as ‘very’.

This book was most interesting.

I object most strongly.

6. A few common adjectives and adverbs have irregular comparative and superlative forms.

good/well
bad/badly
far
old
=> better
worse
farther/further
older/elder
=> best
worst
farthest/furthest
oldest/eldest

She would ask him when she knew him better.

She sat near the furthest window.

Note that you use ‘elder’ or ‘eldest’ to say which brother, sister, or child in a family you mean.

Our eldest daughter couldn't come.

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