Comparatives and Superlatives

Comparatives and Superlatives : Grammar and Spelling Tips

The usual way to form comparatives and superlatives of adjectives is to add -er and -est: great, greater, greatest.

There are four groups of exceptions:

• For words ending in a consonant followed by a -y, change the -y to an -i before adding the ending (e.g. happier, happiest).

• For one-syllable words containing a long vowel sound and ending in -e, e.g. late, remove the -e before adding the ending: later, latest.

• For one-syllable words containing a short vowel sound and ending in a single consonant (e.g. sad), double the final consonant before adding the ending: sadder, saddest.

• Words ending in -l normally just add the ending, but there is one exception, cruel. The comparative and superlative are crueller and cruellest.

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