Comparatives and Superlatives

What are comparatives and superlatives?

  • Comparatives compare two things

    • The USA is bigger than Austria.

  • Superlatives compare three or more things to show which is the “most” or the “best.” We also use superlatives to show which is the “least” or the “worst.”

    • Russia is the biggest country in the world.

    • Rhode Island is the smallest state in the USA.

How do we use comparatives?

  • For short adjectives, we add “-er”

    • bigger, smaller, taller, shorter,

  • For longer adjectives, we say “more”

    • more expensive, more elegant, more ridiculous

  • Don’t forget “than”

    • A mouse is smaller than an elephant.

    • I have a costume even more ridiculous than Sally’s.

How do we use a superlative?

  • For short adjectives, we add “-est”

    • smartest, fastest, slowest,

  • For longer adjectives, we say “most”

    • most impressive, most admirable, most beautiful

  • Don’t forget “the”

    • Julie is the fastest runner on the team.

    • The pyramids are the most impressive monuments I have ever seen.

***Did you know?***

We can use comparatives and superlatives with adverbs too!

  • Sue drives more quickly than Harry.

  • Out of all the children in the class, Joe always does his homework the most carefully.

One more thing…

Some adjectives change forms in the comparative and superlative.

  • big, bigger, biggest (add a “g”)

  • good, better, best (completely irregular!)

  • bad, worse, worst (completely irregular!)

  • dry, drier, driest (“y” turns to “i”)


I. Fill in the blanks (more than one answer is possible)

  • Molly is ______________ than Joe.

  • Jessica  _______   _____________   ___________ than Tom.

  • That horse is ____________   _____________  the other horses.

  • The Amazon River is the __________________  river in the world.

  • My dog ________    ________     ______________   __________ .

II. Write or speak

Can you make comparative and superlative sentences with these adjectives and adverbs?

  • Spectacular

  • Funny

  • Confidently

  • Hot

  • Good

  • Bad