Degrees of Comparison




Degrees of Comparison :


An adjective can be written in three different types to denote three degrees of comparison namely Positive, Comparative and Superlative. The comparison may be of a quality or a quantity, an adjective or an adverb.

Sam is as tall as Pam. - POSITIVE DEGREE

Raj is taller than Joy. - COMPARATIVE DEGREE

Toby is the tallest boy in the class. - SUPERLATIVE DEGREE

From the above examples it is evident that when the degree of comparison changes from one to another, words (denoting the quality) as well as the structure of the sentence changes.

Positive Degree - as adjective as
Comparative Degree - adjective than
Superlative Degree - the adjective

Let us now see how words denoting the comparison are changed.

POINTS TO NOTE :

If the positive ends in two consonants or in a single consonant proceeded by two vowels, ER and EST are added.

Positive…..Comparative…..Superlative

Bold…..bolder…..boldest
Clever…..cleverer…..cleverest
Great…..greater…..greatest

Exceptions :

just …..more just than …..the most just
right …..more right than …..the most right
real …..more real than …..the most real
wrong …..more wrong than …..the most wrong

Adverbs of more than one syllable take more and most.

quickly …..more quickly than …..the most quickly
slowly …..more slowly than …..the most slowly
seldom …..more seldom than …..the most seldom

When the Positive ends in E, only R and ST are added.

Able …..abler …..ablest
Brave….. braver …..bravest
Fine …..Finer …..finest

When the Positive ends in Y, preceded by a consonant, the Y is changed into I before adding ER and EST.

Dry …..drier …..driest
Easy …..easier …..easiest
Happy …..happier …..happiest

But if the Y is preceded by a vowel, the Y is not changed to I.
Gay …..gayer …..gayest

Gray …..grayer …..grayest

When the Positive is a word of one syllable and ends in a single consonant, preceded by a short vowel, this consonant is doubled before adding ER and EST.

Big….. bigger …..biggest
Fat …..fatter …..fattest
Hot …..hotter …..hottest

In all Adjectives of more than two syllables and in most Adjectives of two syllables, the Comparative is formed by adding MORE and the Superlative is formed by adding MOST.

Positive …..Comparative …..Superlative
Beautiful …..more beautiful …..most beautiful
Courageous …..more courageous …..most courageous
Difficult …..more difficult …..most difficult
Industrious …..more industrious …..most industrious

Adjectives ending in ed, ing, re, ful, ous and those with the stress on the first syllable usually take more and the most.

charming …..more charming than …..the most charming
famous …..more famous than …..the most famous
hopeful …..more hopeful than …..the most hopeful
learned …..more learned than …..the most learned

obscure …..more obscure than …..the most obscure

Irregular Comparisons : The following Adjectives are compared irregularly, that is, their Comparative and Superlative are not formed from the Positive.

Positive …..Comparative …..Superlative
Bad, evil, ill …..worse …..worst
Far (distance) …..farther …..farthest
Fore …..former….. foremost, first
Good, well …..better …..best
Hind …..hinder …..hindmost
Late …..later, latter …..latest, last
Little …..less …..least
Much (quantity) …..more …..most
Many (number) …..more …..most
Old …..older, elder …..oldest, eldest

Degrees of Comparison


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