17. Comparatives and Superlatives

Part of Speech Comparative Examples Superlative Examples
Adjectives of one syllable and two syllables ending in “y” I am older than my sister.

 

We are all busier than the boss.

Who is the oldest person in the class?

 

He is the busiest person I know.

 

Other adjectives This paper is more important than my other homework.

This book is less interesting than the one we read last month.

This is our most important assignment.

 

This is the least interesting class I am taking this

semester.

To modify count nouns There are more people in my history class than in my English class.

There are fewer cars in the parking lot at 8 a.m. than at noon.

What is best for most of the people here?

 

Who made the fewest mistakes?

To modify noncount nouns We had more fun at Disneyland then we did at Marine World.

 

We had less fun at Marine World than we did at Disneyland.

Of every thing we did on our vacation, Disneyland

was the most fun. Getting stuck in traffic was the

least fun.

To modify verbs My son eats more than I do.

I eat less than any of my kids

My son east the most of anyone in our family.

I eat the least of anyone in our family.

To modify adverb She drives more carefully than I do.

I drive less carefully than she does.

We don’t usually use these sentences. We usually modify a noun instead. 

 

Irregular comparatives: good/better/best, bad/worse/worst, far/further/furthest:

Part of Speech Comparative Examples Superlative Examples
Adjectives of one syllable and two syllables ending in “y” I am older than my sister.

 

We are all busier than the boss.

Who is the oldest person in the class?

 

He is the busiest person I know.

 

Other adjectives This paper is more important than my other homework.

This book is less interesting than the one we read last month.

This is our most important assignment.

 

This is the least interesting class I am taking this

semester.

With count nouns There are more people in my history class than in my English class.

There are fewer cars in the parking lot at 8 a.m. than at noon.

What is best for most of the people here?

 

Who made the fewest mistakes?

With noncount nouns We had more fun at Disneyland then we did at Marine World.

 

We had less fun at Marine World than we did at Disneyland.

Of every thing we did on our vacation, Disneyland

was the most fun.

 

Getting stuck in traffic was the least fun.

With verbs My son eats more than I do.

 

I eat less than any of my kids.

My son eats the most of anyone in our family.

 

I eat the least of anyone in our family.

With adverbs She drives more carefully than I do.

I drive less carefully than she does.

We don’t usually use these sentences. We usually modify

a noun instead:

 

“She drives the most carefully of anybody I know” is

grammatically correct, but most people would say “She

is the most careful driver I know.”

Some irregular comparatives:   good/better/best                bad/worse/worst                  far/farther or further/farthest or furthest

 

Part of Speech Comparative Examples Superlative Examples
Adjectives This job is worse than my last one.

He’s a better dancer than I am.

This is the worst job I have ever had.

 

She won a contest for the best dancer.

With verbs We wanted to go further, but we were tired.

I understand this better than I used to.

I do best in math.

 

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