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Degree of Comparison

Aug 29, 2022

Read the following sentences: 

  1. George is tall
  1. David is taller than George. 
  1. Henry is the tallest of the three. 

In sentence 1, the descriptor tall simply expresses something about George’s height. It doesn’t state how tall is George. 

In sentence 2, the descriptor taller is utilized to compare George’s height and David’s height. 

In sentence 3, the descriptor tallest is utilized to compare Henry’s height and the heights of George and David. 

We have in this way seen that adjectives change in structure to show comparison. These various types of descriptive words are known as the degree of comparison. 

In the models given above, the modifier tall is  in the positive degree. The modifier taller is in the comparative degree and the descriptive word tallest is in the superlative degree. 


The positive degree of a descriptor is the adjective in its basic structure. It means the simple presence of some quality is stated. Descriptive words in the positive degree are stated when no comparison is made. 

The comparative degree of an adjective demonstrates a higher degree of quality than that in the positive degree. It is stated when two things or two arrangements of things are compared. 

  • David is smarter than George. 
  • Apples are dearer than oranges. 

The superlative degree of a descriptor signifies the most extensive level of quality. It is utilized when multiple things or sets of things are compared. 

  • David is the sharpest kid in the class. 
  • Gold is the most valuable of all objects. 
  • Alice is the prettiest girl in the block. 

Rules Regarding Degree of Comparison: 

Rule 1  

At a point when two things/individuals are analyzed, a relative degree is utilized by placing ‘er’ to the modifier word in relationship with the word ‘than.’ At times ‘more’ is utilized. 

Comparative degree model: 

  • She is smarter than her sister. 
  • She is more intelligent than her sister. 

Likewise, when multiple things/individuals are thought about, the superlative degree is used by putting ‘est’ to the modifier word or at times ‘most’ is utilized. 


Superlative degree of comparison models: 

  • He is the strongest fighter. 
  • He is the most attractive actor. 

Rule 2  

‘More’ is used when you analyze the characteristics of any thing/individual. Regardless of whether the primary adjective is a solitary syllable word. 

Degree of comparison models: 

Wrong – She is smarter than clever. 

Right – She is more smart than clever. 

Rule 3 

Try not to use double comparative adjectives or superlative adjectives. 

Degree of comparison models: 

Wrong – These mangoes are more sweeter than those. 

Right – These mangoes are sweeter than those. 

Rule 4  

Never use ‘more or most’ with adjectives that provide an absolute sense. 

Degree of comparison models: 

Wrong – This track is more parallel to that one. 

Right – This track is parallel and the other isn’t. 

Rule 5 

There are a couple of adjectives that are joined by ‘to’, like, senior, junior, superior, inferior, preferable, elder, etc. Try not to use ‘than’ with these descriptive words. 

Degree of adjective models: 

Wrong: I am senior than her. 

Right: I am senior to her. 

Wrong – This vehicle brand is superior than that. 

Right – This card brand is superior to that. 

Rule 6  

There should be similarity between the two things being analyzed. Degree of comparison models: 

Wrong – This wall paint is more beautiful than the previous one. (Wall paint is contrasted with the wall). 

Right – This wall paint is more beautiful than that of the previous one. (Contrast wall paint with wall paint). 

Rule 7  

When the comparative degree is utilized as the superlative degree : 

  • Use ‘any other’ when a thing/individual of a similar group is compared. 

Degree of comparison models: 

Wrong: Ronald  is more smart than any other of his class. 

Right: Ronald is smarter than any other student of his class. 

  • Use ‘any’ if the comparison of things/individuals is outside the group. 

Wrong: London is cleaner than any other city in the US. 

Right: London is cleaner than any city in the US. 

Rule 8  

When in similar sentence two adjectives in various degrees of comparison are utilized, both ought to be complete in themselves. 

Wrong – She is as great if not worse than her sister. 

Right – She is as great as, if not worse, than her sister. 

Rule 9  

To show whether the difference between the compared thing/individual is little or huge, we use quantifiers for the comparative degree of an adjective, for example, a piece, a little, a ton, far, much, an extraordinary arrangement, fundamentally, and so forth. 

For instance: 

  • My house is just barely greater than yours. 
  • She is somewhat more famous than her sister in their school. 
  • Australia is little smaller than Africa. 

We don’t utilize quantifiers with superlative degree of adjectives, yet there are sure expressions generally utilized with the superlative degree of comparison. 

Degree of comparison examples: 

  • In metropolitan cities, metros are by far the least expensive method of transportation. 
  • Sanskrit is perhaps the oldest language on the planet. 
  • Jeff Bezos is the second richest person in the world. 

Rule 10 

While changing the degree of comparison for the irregular descriptors, the word totally changes instead of adding ‘er’ or ‘est’. 

For instance: 

  • She has little milk in the container. 
  • She has less milk than he has. 
  • She has the least quantity of milk. 


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