Comparatives and superlatives, what they are and how to build them

This article about comparatives and superlatives is a quick look at what they are and how they are used.

Comparatives are used to compare two objects.

For example:

  • bigger
  • smaller
  • shorter

Superlatives are used to indicate the result of a comparison of three or more objects.

For example:

  • biggest
  • tallest
  • shortest

The normal sentence or statement construction when using comparatives is as follows.

X + “is/are” + comparative + “than” + Y.

  • “John is taller than David.”
  • “Mice are smaller than elephants.”

The normal sentence or statement construction when using superlatives is as follows.

X + “is/are” + “the” + superlative + qualifying statement.

  • “John is the tallest boy in his class.”
  • “Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on the planet.”

Constructing comparatives and superlatives from the base adjective

The rules below show you how to make comparatives and superlatives from adjectives.

adjective >> comparative >> superlative

RULE 1: Comparatives and superlatives for single syllable adjectives

  • The comparative is created by adding the suffix “–er“.
  • The superlative is created by adding the suffix “–est“.

tall >> taller >> the tallest

RULE 2: Comparatives and superlatives for single syllable adjectives that end with a vowel and a single consonant

  • The comparative is created by doubling the consonant and adding the suffix “–er“.
  • The superlative is created by doubling the consonant and adding the suffix “–est“.

thin >> thinner >> the thinnest

RULE 3: Comparatives and superlatives for two syllable adjectives that end with the letter “y

  • The comparative is created by changing the “y” to an “i” and adding the suffix “–er“.
  • The superlative is created by changing the “y” to an “i” and adding the suffix “–est“.

sunny >> sunnier >> the sunniest

RULE 4: Comparatives and superlatives for adjectives of three or more syllables

  • The comparative is created by prefixing the base adjective with “more” or “less”.
  • The superlative is created by prefixing the base adjective with “most” or “least”.

expensive >> more expensive >> the most expensive

expensive >> less expensive >> the least expensive

RULE 5: Irregular comparatives and superlatives

There are no rules for these so they must be learned and memorised. Here are a few examples:

good >> better >> the best

bad >> worse >> the worst

far >> farther/further >> the farthest/furthest

little >> less >> the least

Want to learn how to teach English from the experts?

Contact EBC for more information about our accredited English teacher training courses and job placement program.

Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

There's an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Please obtain a new Access Token on the plugin's Settings page.
If you continue to have an issue with your Access Token then please see this FAQ for more information.

Contact one of our Student Advisers

Contact our Advisers

Contact EBC TEFL Course

Call Us Toll Free

Call us TOLL FREE from the USA, CANADA and UK. If we are closed, leave a message.  We'll call you back. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE! EBC IS OPEN  FROM 9:30 TO 5:30, MONDAY TO FRIDAY. OUR TIME ZONE IS, 6 HOURS AHEAD OF US EAST COAST TIME.
  • USA and Canada call FREE: 1 888 393 4015
All other countries, call (+34) 915 553 975 (not toll free)

powered by Advanced iFrame free. Get the Pro version on CodeCanyon.

John is a good teacher and he puts efforts inorder to understand your requirements. He teaches you in the right ways, like how to present the language in a simple way, how to keep the motivation on, etc.It´s a intensive course but it´s really worth !!Willam is a good administrator. Thanks for all the help and support. 🙂
Tanya Bhagat
11:41 18 May 18
The course is very intensive but IT IS REALY WORTH! If you are looking for a course that teaches you how to become an English teacher, well this is the best one. You really get the better skills for teaching English at all levels with a clear knowledge about what you are doing. The staff of the course is really nice and helpful. He is a really nice person who helps you whatever you need.Teachers here at really good and they really know how to train you as a English teacher very well.
Dro !
11:24 18 May 18
I am very pleased with my experience at EBC Madrid. Professor John was an amazing mentor that really prepared my classmates and I to teach English. I feel confident going into the job market and finding a teaching job.
Elizabeth Wohlford
15:28 08 Mar 18
EBC Madrid had equipped me with the necessary knowledge and skills I need to be better in teaching. William is so nice and is very accommodating to us students. And, John is the best teacher who can simplify and make the students understand even the most complicated grammatical concept. Kudos!
Anne Marnelli
14:42 08 Mar 18
The course is very intensive but it helps a lot to bring out the best in me. John is an amazing teacher and he is very professional. I'm very thankful for all the guidance and help that I received from EBC. I highly recommend it.
Roxanne A.
14:42 08 Mar 18
The course is really useful. It makes you equipped with the right knowledge, training and attitude. Things you need to have that confidence to go out and face the world as an English teacher. Highly recommended!
Pedi Dela Cruz
14:25 08 Mar 18
This is a great place to get your TEFL certification. The staff is kind, organized and very helpful. It was such a comfortable learning environment that I enjoyed very much. I liked the personalized attention and I got a lot more confidence and experience to be an English teacher. Thanks for everything!
Victoria Metz
10:35 02 Feb 18
I found the instruction throughout the course to be very effective and I finished the course feeling excited and prepared to begin teaching. There is nothing fancy about the EBC facility, however this doesn't in any way reduce the overall quality of the course. John, the instructor, has extensive experience (both as an TEFL teacher and a TEFL course trainer), which is evident in the thoughtful organization of the course. My class had only five students, which created lots of time for personal attention and advice. Make sure you come prepared to work hard!
Adam Schreiber
12:06 14 Dec 17
It was a great and intensive course! I learned and enjoyed this whole learning how to teach experience. Thank you very much for your time and knowledge. I feel well-prepared now. EBC Madrid, 2017.
Michele Buitron
11:57 14 Dec 17
I've just finished my EBC TEFL course. It was a great experience. I definitely recommend this course. John is an amazing teacher and he is very professional. It was just a pleasure. Thank you so much and good luck!
Natalia Egorova
15:04 10 Nov 17
The course has been really useful and the teacher, John, made the classes so much fun and very interesting. It is has been a great experience and has helped me realise how much I really enjoy teaching. It has also been a bit intense at times but I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to become an English teacher.
Natasha Jimenez
20:17 05 Oct 17
Class of August 2017.It's been a busy stressful 4 weeks but I am happy the group and I have all made it and we have TEFL certificates to show for all our hard-work and sleepless nights. Much thanks to our trainer John for his patience and ability to find solutions and guidance to help you find your way and energy throughout the course. EBC international is the best place to learn and share your knowledge of teaching. And for people like me who has no idea how to teach things like grammar and also to learn the grammar...this is the place to be!
Ashley Kabanda
11:14 31 Aug 17
WhatsApp chat Click to WhatsApp us