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Adjective: Degree of Comparison Rules

This article tells you what the degree of adjectives mean and also about the Rules of degree of comparison of adjectives.

Degree of Adjectives

An adjective is a word that describes, qualifies, modifies, or quantifies nouns or pronouns. There are three degrees of adjectives that compare one item to another. In ascending sequence. These three degrees of adjectives reflect the strength of the adjective.

Degree of Comparison of Adjective

The three levels of adjectives are as follows: (1) Positive. (2) Comparative. (3) Superlative.

Positive Degree

The basic form of adjective is a positive degree. It simply implies the presence of a quality. Positive Degree Examples:
  1. Tina is dressed in a red gown.
  2.  Cheetahs are fast animals.
  3.  The cat was chased by the large dog.
  4. The box contains four pencils.
  5. She is a lovely young lady.
  6. This is a beautiful car.
  7. Ram is a tall man.
  8. He has a small bag.

Comparative Degree

When comparing one noun or pronoun to another, comparative degree is applied. Only two things are being compared in these cases. After a comparative adjective in a phrase, words such as and,to are used to express contrast between the two objects. a noun (subject) + a verb + a comparative adjective + a noun (subject) + a noun (subject) + a noun (object). Comparative Degree Examples:
  1. This box is smaller than mine.
  2. Rohit is smarter than Mohan.
  3. Her hair is longer than mine.
  4. John is taller than Bob.
  5. He is stronger than his brother.
  6. The weather is colder than yesterday.
  7. I am older than him.
  8. His car is more beautiful than mine.

Superlative Degree

When comparing two or more nouns, the superlative degree is used. They may also be used to compare one object to the remainder of a set of things. In comparison to other things, it represents the utmost intensity (quality or quantity) of a thing. After a superlative adjective in a phrase, words like of and in are used. When modifying a specific word, the article should come before the superlative degree. a noun (subject) + a verb + a superlative adjective + a superlative adjective + a noun (object). Superlative Degree Examples:
  1. Rohan is the tallest in the class.
  2. This road is the busiest of all the roads.
  3. Mount Everest is the world’s tallest mountain.
  4. Seema is the smartest student in the class.
  5. My home is the largest in our neighbourhood.
  6. The Cheetah is the fastest animal on the planet.
  7. Jupiter is our solar system’s largest planet.
  8. This is the most beautiful car I have ever seen.

Rules of Degrees of Comparison of Adjectives

Adjectives with a Single Syllable:

(a) When two items or people are contrasted, the extension ‘er’ is used to the adjective in conjunction with the word ‘than’ to create a comparative degree of adjective. Only the letter ‘r’ is added to adjectives that end in a ‘e’. When comparing more than two items or people, the superlative degree is created by adding the word ‘est’ to the adjective. Only ‘st’ is added to words ending in ‘e’. Examples:
  • smart – smarter – smartest.
  • weak- weaker – weakest
  • late – later – latest
  • strange – stranger – strangest
  • old – older – oldest
  • wise – wiser – wisest
(b) When an adjective ends in a consonant + vowel + consonant, we double the consonant and add -er for the comparative form, and we double the consonant and add est for the superlative form. Examples:
  • big – bigger – biggest
  • hot – hotter – hottest
  • thin – thinner – thinnest
  • sad – sadder – saddest
  • flat – flatter – flattest

Adjectives that are of Two Syllable:

We omit the y and add ier for the comparative form and iest for the superlative form when the adjective ends in consonant + y. Examples:
  • dirty – dirtier – dirtiest
  • ugly – uglier – ugliest
  • pretty – prettier – prettiest
  • happy – happier-happiest
  • healthy – healthier – healthiest
  • heavy – heavier – heaviest

Two or More-Syllable Adjectives

We add the word more to produce comparative form and more to form superlative form when the adjective is lengthy, i.e. two or more syllables. Examples:
  • useful – more useful – most useful
  • beautiful – more beautiful – most beautiful
  • important – more important – most important
  • interesting – more interesting – most interesting
  • active – more active – most active
  • confused – more confused – most confused
  • difficult – more difficult – most difficult
  • famous – more famous – most famous
  • expensive – more expensive – most expensive
  • popular – more popular – most popular
Irregular Degree of Adjectives There are a few adjectives that don’t have comparative or superlative versions. They use adjectives in an ad hoc manner and do not adhere to any rules. Examples:
  • good – better – best
  • bad – worse – worst
  • much – much – most
  • little – less – least
  • far – farther – farthest
Mistakes People Make When Making Comparisons


Adjectives are describing words that are used to modify nouns or pronouns. There are three degrees of adjectives. In order of ascension they are: positive, comparative and superlative. One must be careful to use the proper form of adjectives in a sentence so that it is easily comprehensive.