We use the comparative and superlative form to compare and contrast different objects in English. Use the comparative form to show the difference between two objects. Example: New York is more exciting than Seattle. Use the superlative form when speaking about three or more objects to show which object is 'the most' of something. Example: New York is the most exciting city in the USA.
Here is a chart showing how to construct the comparative form in English. Notice in the example sentences that we use 'than' to compare the two objects:
One Syllable Adjectives
add '-er' to end of the adjective (Note: double the final consonant if preceded by a vowel) remove the 'y' from the adjective and add 'ier'
Example: cheap - cheaper / hot - hotter / high - higher
Yesterday was hotter than today.
This book is cheaper than that book.
Two Syllable Adjectives Ending in '-y'
Example: happy - happier / funny - funnier
I am happier than you.
That joke was funnier than his joke.
Two, Three or More Syllable Adjectives
place 'more' before the adjective
Example: interesting - more interesting / difficult - more difficult
London is more expensive than Madrid.
This test is more difficult than the last test.
There are some important exceptions to these rules. Here are two of the most important exceptions:
- good - adjective
- better - comparative
This book is better than that one.
I am better at tennis than my sister.
- bad - adjective
- worse - comparative
His French is worse than mine.
His singing is worse than Tom's.
Test your understanding with this short quiz.