Degrees of adjectives

Degrees of adjectives exercises | comparative & superlative

Degree of Adjectives

Adjectives are modifiers that modify nouns and pronouns. We mostly use adjectives to show quality, quantity, number, shape, and size. But we can use them to show comparisons between two things, persons and places. So there are three degrees of adjectives. This is the simple definition of an adjective.

  • 1. An adjective that modifies the noun is called a positive degree.
  • 2. An adjective that is used to compare two things, persons, and places is called comparatives degree.  
  • 3. An adjective is used to compare one thing, person, place, and group with all other things, persons, and places are called the superlative degree of adjectives.
  • Below we will study the Degrees of Adjectives in detail. If you know the Simple definition of an adjective then the degree of the adjective will be very easy.

1) Positive degree of adjectives

The positive degree of an adjective makes no comparison. It simply modifies the noun and pronoun.

  • A long road.                                                      
  • The black cat.
  • The white car.
  • A new building.
  • An old airplane.

2) The comparative Degree:

The comparative degree of an adjective compares two people, things, activities, or qualities.    

  • This road is longer than that one.
  • This cat is blacker than that one.
  • The white car is nearer than the building.
  • The building is newer than a car.
  • A jet plane is faster than an airplane.

3) Superlative Degree:

      The superlative degree of an adjective compares a person, thing, activity, or quality with the whole group.

  • The longest road I have ever seen. 
  • The blackest cat cut my way.
  • The whitest cat is beautiful.
  • The newest building is mine.
  • The fastest jet is flying.

Rules for making comparatives and superlatives degree of adjectives

There can be many rules to make comparatives and superlatives degrees of adjectives, but over here I am going to tell you the easiest way.

One-syllable adjectives. As you know that English words are of different syllables.

So what is a syllable:  

it is a unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants that is forming the whole or a part of a word; for instance, there are two syllables in water and three in inferno.

  1. Formation of comparative and superlative: We form a one-syllable adjective by adding –er for the comparative form and –est for the superlative.

One-Syllable Adjectives.

         Positive
Comparative  
Superlative  
New
Tall
Old
Short
Smart
newer
taller
older
shorter
smarter
newest
tallest
oldest
shortest
smartest  
  1. Note: If the one-syllable adjective ends with the letter ‘e’ just add –r for the comparative form and –st for the superlative form.

One-Syllable Adjectives. With a -e

Positive          Comparative   Superlative     
Cute
Wise
wide
large
brave
Cuter
Wiser
wider
larger
braver
Cutest
Wisest
widest
largest
bravest

3. If the one-syllable adjective ends with a single consonant ’thin’ and contains a vowel before it, double the consonant and add –er for the comparative form and double the consonant and add –est for the superlative form.

Positive          Comparative   Superlative     
Thin
Sad
Thin
Big
Thinner
Sadder
Thinner
Bigger
Thinnest
Saddest
Thinnest
Biggest

Two-syllable adjectives

1. With most two-syllable adjectives we form the comparative with more and the superlative with most.

Positive          Comparative   Superlative     
Peaceful
Careless
famous
more peaceful
more careless
more famous
most peaceful
most careless
most famous

Two syllable Adjectives

  1. For some two-syllable adjectives ending with –y, change the y into “i” and add –er for the comparative form, and for the superlative form change the “y” to “i” and add –est.
Positive          Comparative   Superlative     
Pretty
Happy
Angry
prettier
happier
angrier
prettiest
happiest
angriest
  1. Two-syllable adjectives ending in –er, -le, or –ow take –er for the comparative form and –est for the superlative form.
Positive          Comparative   Superlative     
Clever
Fine
Narrow
gentle
Cleverer
Finer
narrower
Gentler
Cleverest
Finest
Narrowest
gentlest

Adjectives with three or more syllables.

For adjectives with three syllables or more, you form the comparative with more and the superlative with most.

Positive          Comparative   Superlative     
Beautiful
Dangerous
Convenient comfortable
more beautiful
more dangerous
more convenient
more comfortable
most beautiful
most dangerous
most convenient
most comfortable

Special note:
Some adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms.

Positive          Comparative   Superlative     
Good
some
Bad
late
Many
Much
Well
Far
Little
Better
more
Worse
latter
More
More
Better
Farther
less
Best
most
Worst
last
Most
Most
Best
Farther/furthest
Least

Note: Two-syllable adjectives that follow two rules, can be used with -er and -est and with more and most.

Positive          Comparative   Superlative     
Simple
Clever
Gentle
quiet
simpler/more simple
cleverer/more clever
gentler/ more clever
quieter/quieter
simplest/most simple
cleverest/ most clever
gentlest/ most gentle
quietest/ most quiet

Note while making superlative adjectives do not forget the article. ”the” should be used.

Related grammars:

What are parts of speech

what is Figure or speech?

Simple present Tense.

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