Degrees of Comparison

Adjectives form three degrees of comparison to compare the qualities of the objects.

There is no comparison when Adjectives are in positive degree.

It is the main form of Adjectives and they do not have special ending in this degree.


The Comparative degree of Adjectives

is used to compare two objects and show the difference their qualities.


The Superlative degree of Adjectives

is mainly used to describe the quality of the object to compare it to two or more objects to the highest or lowest degree:


The Nile is a long river (the positive degree).

The Nile is longer than The Volga (the comparative degree).

The Nile is the longest river in the world (the superlative degree).


The Comparative degree is formed by adding er ending, the Superlative degree by est ending to simple, one and two syllable Adjectives in the Positive degree:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (table 1)

                                                             The Degrees of Adjectives
The Positive The Comparative The Superlative
large larger largest
cold colder coldest
deep deeper deepest






The degrees of Comparison of two syllable Adjectives that end in – y, er, ow, ble is formed in the same way as in the given (table 1)

Here’s a table showing the degrees of comparison of   adjectives with the endings -y, -ow, -er and -ble                                                                                                                                                                         ( table 2)

Adjective Ending Positive Form Comparative Form Superlative Form
-y happy happier happiest
-y pretty prettier prettiest
-y easy easier easiest
-y busy busier busiest
-y funny funnier funniest
-ow narrow narrower narrowest
-ow shallow shallower shallowest
-ow hollow hollower hollowest
-ow mellow mellower mellowest
-er tender tenderer tenderest
-er clever cleverer cleverest
-er stronger stronger strongest
-er larger larger largest
-ble noble nobler noblest





Here’s a table showing the degrees of comparison of  other two syllable adjectives:                                                                                                                                                                                                         (table 3)

Adjective Positive Comparative Superlative
Active Active Activer Activest
Angry Angry Angrier Angriest
Crazy Crazy Crazier Craziest
Dirty Dirty Dirtier Dirtiest
Early Early Earlier Earliest
Friendly Friendly Friendlier Friendliest
Funny Funny Funnier Funniest
Gentle Gentle Gentler Gentlest
Happy Happy Happier Happiest







Degrees of Comparison of the Adjectives

The English Adjective

Substantivized Adjectives

Adjective Exercises


Word Formation in English