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Degrees of Comparison – Explanation and Its Uses

Sep 2, 2022

Degrees of Comparison 

We know that adjectives are describing words. 

When an adjective is used to compare one noun with another, it changes its form. This is known as degree of comparison of an adjective. 

There are three degrees of comparison. They are:  

  • Positive degree 
  • Comparative degree and 
  • Superlative degree 

The positive degree is the normal form of an adjective. This is used to refer to a person, place or thing without any comparison. 

For example: John is tall. 

The comparative degree is a higher degree of adjective when compared to positive degree. It is used to compare two people, places or objects. 


We use ‘than’ with comparative degree. 

For example: John is taller than Morgan. 

The superlative degree is the highest degree of adjective. It is used to compare more than two objects, people or places.  

We use ‘the’ with superlative degree. 

For example: John is the tallest boy in the class. 


Rules for writing comparative and superlative forms. 

In case of one syllable or two syllable adjective which end in consonant, the comparative form is written by adding –er and superlative form is written by adding –est to the positive form. 

For example: tall – taller – tallest 

When the adjective ends in –e, the comparative and superlative degrees are formed by adding -r nd –st respectively. 

For example: cute – cuter – cutest                                                                                              

When the positive ends in consonant + y, the comparative and superlative degrees are formed by removing the y and adding –ier and –iest. 

For example: funny – funnier – funniest                                                                                              

When the positive is a one syllable word and it ends in a vowel + consonant, we have to double the consonant and add –er for comparative degree and –est for superlative degree. 

For example: big – bigger – biggest                                                                                              

When the positive form has more than two syllables, comparative and superlative degrees are formed by adding more and most before the adjective.  

For example: beautiful – more beautiful – most beautiful 

There are cases in which comparatives and superlatives are not formed from the positive degrees. Such adjectives are called irregular adjectives. 

For example: good – better – best                                                                                        


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