Comparatives (explanation)

24 Авг

Degrees of Comparison

The comparative and superlative degrees are formed in two





by the suffixes •er, -est Positive Compara­tive Superlative
one syllable and two syllable ending in -y, -er, -ow, -le and with the stress on the last syllable big happy clever simple narrow bigger happier cleverer simpler narrower (the) biggest (the) happiest (the) cleverest (the) simplest (the) narrowest
by adding more/the most/ famous successful interesting more famous

more successful more interesting

(the) most famous (the) most suc­cessful (the) most inte­resting
before the adjec­tives   of two, three or more syllables


1.    The superlative form is usually preceded by the and often followed by the prepositions in or of.

London is one of the most beautiful cities in England. I am the youngest of the three children in our family.

2.    The superlative form can be used without a noun following it.

This house is the most attractive in our street.

3.    a + the superlative degree of an adjective means весьма, крайне.

This is a most boring novel. — Это весьма скучный роман.

5.    You can use -er or more … with some two-syllable adjec­tives, especially: quiet, clever, narrow, shallow, simple, common, stupid.

6.    We use the Present Perfect after the superlative degree.

This is the most reliable car that we have ever had. 1.   Gradual increase or decrease is expressed by two compara­tives joined by and:

The weather is getting colder and colder.

g.   Less and least are opposites of more and most. We use less and least with both long and short words.

A bus is less expensive than a taxi. (= A bus is cheaper than a taxi. /A bus isn ‘t as expensive as a taxi.) I feel better today, less tired.

9.    When than is followed by he/she/it + verb, we normally keep the verb, but when the second clause consists of than + I/we/you + verb, it is usually possible to omit the verb.

You are stronger than he is.

You have more free time than I/we (have).


Irregular Comparative and Superlative Forms

Positive Comparative Superlative
good better (the) best
bad worse (the) worst
little less (the) least
many/much more (the) most
old older/elder (the) oldest/eldest
late later/latter (the) latest/ last
far father/further (the) farthest/furthest
near nearer (the)nearest/next


Late:    later — latest (refers to time)

latter — last (refers to position)

/ haven’t heard the latest news.

Ours is the last house in the street. Old:     elder — eldest (for people only in the same family) older — oldest (for people and things)

My father is the eldest in our family.

I get on well with my elder sister. Elder is not used with than following. We use older instead:

/ am five years older than my brother.

par:     farther/farthest and further/furthest (about distances) further / furthest (additional)

You live father than I thought. I must have a reply without further delay. Turkey is the farthest/furthest I’ve ever been. Near:   nearest (denotes distance) next     (denotes position)

This is the nearest post-office to our house. My uncle lives in the next house.


Comparative Constructions with the Adjectives

to compare things which are the same: as … as,   the same … as ;twice as … as, three times as … as

The adjective is used in the positive degree.

She is as busy as a bee. Father is the same age as mother. Petrol is twice as ex­pensive as it was a few years ago.

to compare things that are different: not as … as, not so … as;

Positive degree

Italy is not so hot as Iraq. He isn ‘t as poor as I thought.

than — than me/ than I am, etc.

the … the

Comparative degree

Comparative degree

Your spelling is better than mine.

The longer is the night, the shorter is the day.



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