Degrees of Comparison 6

Look at the following sentences:

Naina is a tall girl.
Jolly is taller than Naina.
Saumya is the tallest of the three.

What do you notice in the above sentences? Adjectives change in form (tall, taller, tallest) to show comparison. These three forms are known as the three Degrees of Comparison.

  • The adjective ‘tall’ denotes the simple quality. It is called the Positive Degree.
  • When comparing two objects or persons and saying that one possesses a certain quality in a greater degree than the other, we use the comparative form of the adjective. Thus, the adjective ‘taller’ is the Comparative Degree of tall.
    Note: The Comparative Degree is generally followed by ‘than’.
  • When an object or a person possesses a quality in the greater degree of all that are being compared, then the superlative form of the adjective is used. Thus, the adjective ‘tallest’ is the Superlative Degree of tall.Note: (i) The Superlative form of the adjective is used when we compare more than two objects or persons.
    (ii) The Superlative Degree is preceded by ‘the’ and is generally followed by ‘of.

Formation of Degrees of Comparison

Comparative and Superlative degrees are formed:

(i) by adding ‘-er’ and ‘-est’ to the positive degree; as

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

bold

bolder

boldest

short

shorter

shortest

deep

deeper

deepest

cold

colder

coldest

warm

warmer

warmest

strong

stronger

strongest

poor

poorer

poorest

rich

richer

richest

(ii) by adding only ‘r’ and ‘st’ when the positive ends in ‘e’; as

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

large

larger

largest

wise

wiser

wisest

brave

braver

bravest

fine

finer

finest

noble

nobler

noblest

simple

simpler

simplest

(iii) by changing ‘y’ into ‘i’ and adding ‘er’ and ‘est’ if positive ends in ‘y’ preceded by a consonant; as

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

noisy

noisier

noisiest

ugly

uglier

ugliest

holy

holier

holiest

happy

happier

happiest

pretty

prettier

prettiest

easy

easier

easiest

Note: If ‘y’ of a positive degree is preceded by a vowel than ‘y’ remains intact and ‘-er’ and ‘est’ are added to make them Comparative and Superlative; as

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

grey

grayer

grayest

gay

gayer

gayest

(iv) by doubling the final consonant before adding ‘-er’ and ‘est’ if the positive ends in one consonant preceded by a vowel; as

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

fat

fatter

fattest

big

bigger

biggest

hot

hotter

hottest

thin

thinner

thinnest

sad

sadder

saddest

red

redder

reddest

wet

wetter

wettest

(v) by placing ‘more’ and ‘most’ before all adjectives of more than two syllables and many adjectives of two syllables; as

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

intelligent

more intelligent

most intelligent

beautiful

more beautiful

most beautiful

dangerous

more dangerous

most dangerous

famous

more famous

most famous

popular

more popular

most popular

handsome

more handsome

most handsome

pleasant

more pleasant

most pleasant

expensive

more expensive

most expensive

(vi) Some adjectives form their Comparative and Superlative in an irregular way; as

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

good

better

best

bad

worse

worst

little

less

least

far

farther

farthest

much

more

most

many

more

most

late

later, latter

latest, last

(vii) Double Comparative and double Superlative should be avoided; as

Incorrect : This is more safer place.
Correct : This is a safer place.
Incorrect : He is the most busiest man in the office.
Correct : He is the busiest man in the office.

(viii) The words like senior, junior, superior, inferior are always followed by to instead of than; as

Incorrect : Mr. Sharma is more inferior than me.
Correct : Mr. Sharma is inferior to me.
Incorrect: I am junior than you.
Correct: I am junior to you.
Incorrect : Mr. Sinha is the most superior of all.
Correct : Mr. Sinha is superior to all.

Exercise 1

Fill in the blanks:

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

Many

  ______

most

Happy

more famous

happiest most famous

bad

worse

 ______

fat

fatter

 ______

 ______

gayer

gayest

wise

 ______

wisest

 ______

thinner

thinnest

good

 ______

best

far

farther

 ______

ugly
______

uglier

more pleasant

______

most pleasant

little

much

______

more

least
______

Answer:

1. more            2. happier          3. famous    4. worst
5. fattest          6. gay                 7. wiser        8. thin
9. better          10. farthest         11. ugliest    12. pleasant
13. less           14. most

Exercise 2

Choose the right word from within the brackets:

  1. He is cleverer ………… me. (than, to)
  2. He is senior ………… me by five years. (than, to)
  3. Reeta is the most intelligent ………… all the students of the class. (than, of)
  4. Choose the ………… (better, best) of the two.
  5. Uttar Pradesh is the ………… populated state of India. (more, most)
  6. Make ………… noise. (little, less)
  7. Shabana is the ………… painter of the two. (good, better)
  8. You are junior ………… me. (than, to)
  9. Health is ………… than wealth. (better, best)
  10. The Taj Mahal is one of the ………… beautiful buildings in the world., (more, most)

Answer:

1. than         2. to           3. of            4. better
5. most        6. less        7. better      8. to
9. better    10. most

Exercise 3

Fill in the blanks with proper form (Comparative or Superlative) of adjectives.

  1. Kavita is the ____   girl in the class. (good)
  2. Mt. Everest is the ____ mountain peak in the world. (high)
  3. Delhi is ____ than Chennai. (hot)
  4. Diamond is the ____ of all gems. (costly)
  5. Iron is the ____ of all metals. (heavy)
  6. My doll is ____ than yours. (pretty)
  7. Sarita is the ____ girl in the class. (popular)
  8. Africa is the ____ of all the five continents. (hot)
  9. My car is ____ than yours. (expensive)
  10. Rachna is ____ than her sister. (tall)
  11. This photograph is the ____ of the two. (good)
  12. The streets of Karachi are ____ than Mumbai (wide)
  13. He is the ____ runner here. (fast)
  14. Your accent is ____ than mine. (bad)
  15. Lead is ____ than any other metal. (heavy)

Answer:

1. best                            2. highest        3.  hotter                  4. costliest
5. heaviest                     6. prettier         7.  most popular       8. hottest
9. more expensive       10. taller           11. better                  12. wider
13. fastest                    14. worse        15. heavier

Degrees of Comparison 6