Comparatives / superlatives (than)
Comparatives - introduction
We use the comparative structure to compare two or more things:
- A lion is bigger than a pet cat.
- Gold is more expensive than silver.
- Portugal isn't as big as Spain.
- I speak English better than you.
- A plane travels more quickly than a car.
Comparatives - form
We make the comparative with:
comparative adjective + "than"
"not as" + base adjective + "as".
If we use "as" + adjective + "as" in the positive, it means the two things are the same:
- Anna is as happy as Sue.
- I speak English as well as you.
Making comparative adjectives
For one-syllable adjectives such as: big or sad, we double the final consonant and add "er":
If the base adjective ends with a double consonant we just add "er":
For adjectives with two or more syllables we put "more" or "less" before the adjective:
- more expensive, less expensive
- more exciting, less exciting
- For two-syllable adjectives which end with the consonant "y", we take away "y" and add "ier":
Irregular comparative adjectives include:
- good – better
- bad – worse
We can use determiners before comparative adjectives to modify or add emphasis:
- It is much colder in Sweden than in Thailand.
- James is a bit shorter than Susan.
- I get up a lot earlier than my sister.
Complete the sentences with the correct form of the adjective in brackets:
Superlatives - introduction
We use the superlative structure to say that something is more than all the others in a group:
- It's the tallest building in the world (no other is taller)
- He's the fastest runner in the race. (no one runs faster)
- She bought the most expensive watch. (the others were all cheaper)
- They are the worst football team. (the other teams are better)
- My mum is the happiest person I know. (I don’t know anyone happier)
Superlatives - form
We make the superlative with:
"the" + superlative adjective
Making superlative adjectives
- For one-syllable adjectives such as: big or sad, we double the final consonant and add 'est':
- If the base adjective ends with a double consonant we just add 'est':
- For adjectives with two or more syllables we put 'most' or 'least' before the adjective:
- most expensive, least expensive
- most exciting, least exciting
- For adjectives which end with the consonant 'y', we take away 'y' and add 'iest':
Irregular superlative adjectives include:
Complete the sentences with the correct form of the adjective in brackets.
Complete the sentences with the correct answer from a, b, c or d:
Check my answers
Further language point
Sometimes we talk about how something is done
and so we use adverbs
to describe the verb:
- I run more quickly than Anna.
- Rob speaks Italian more fluently than he speaks German.
- I run the most quickly.
- Rob speaks Italian the most fluently.
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