Comparative and

Superlative Adjectives


One-syllable adjectives.

Form the comparative and superlative forms of a one-syllable adjective by adding –er for the comparative form and –est for the superlative.
One-Syllable Adjective
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
tall
taller
tallest
old
older
oldest
long
longer
longest
  • Mary is taller than Max.
  • Mary is the tallest of all the students.
  • Max is older than John.
  • Of the three students, Max is the oldest.
  • My hair is longer than your hair.
  • Max's story is the longest story I've ever heard.
If the one-syllable adjective ends with an e, just add –r for the comparative form and –st for the superlative form.
One-Syllable Adjective with Final -e
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
large
larger
largest
wise
wiser
wisest
  • Mary's car is larger than Max's car.
  • Mary's house is the tallest of all the houses on the block.
  • Max is wiser than his brother.
  • Max is the wisest person I know.
If the one-syllable adjective ends with a single consonant with 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.
One-Syllable Adjective Ending with a Single Consonant with a Single Vowel before It
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
big
bigger
biggest
thin
thinner
thinnest
fat
fatter
fattest
  • My dog is bigger than your dog.
  • My dog is the biggest of all the dogs in the neighborhood.
  • Max is thinner than John.
  • Of all the students in the class, Max is the thinnest.
  • My mother is fatter than your mother.
  • Mary is the fattest person I've ever seen.

Two-syllable adjectives.

With most two-syllable adjectives, you form the comparative with more and the superlative with most.
Two-Syllable Adjective
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
peaceful
more peaceful
most peaceful
pleasant
more pleasant
most pleasant
careful
more careful
most careful
thoughtful
more thoughtful
most thoughtful
  • This morning is more peaceful than yesterday morning.
  • Max's house in the mountains is the most peaceful in the world.
  • Max is more careful than Mike.
  • Of all the taxi drivers, Jack is the most careful.
  • Jill is more thoughtful than your sister.
  • Mary is the most thoughtful person I've ever met.
If the two-syllable adjectives ends with –y, change the y to i and add –er for the comparative form. For the superlative form change the y to i and add –est.
Two-Syllable Adjective Ending with -y
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
happy
happier
happiest
angry
angrier
angriest
busy
busier
busiest
  • John is happier today than he was yesterday.
  • John is the happiest boy in the world.
  • Max is angrier than Mary.
  • Of all of John's victims, Max is the angriest.
  • Mary is busier than Max.
  • Mary is the busiest person I've ever met.
Two-syllable adjectives ending in –er, -le, or –ow take –er and –est to form the comparative and superlative forms.
Two-Syllable Adjective Ending with -er, -le, or -ow
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
narrow
narrower
narrowest
gentle
gentler
gentlest
  • The roads in this town are narrower than the roads in the city.
  • This road is the narrowest of all the roads in California.
  • Big dogs are gentler than small dogs.
  • Of all the dogs in the world, English Mastiffs are the 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.
Adjective with Three or More Syllables
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
generous
more generous
most generous
important
more important
most important
intelligent
more intelligent
most intelligent
  • John is more generous than Jack.
  • John is the most generous of all the people I know.
  • Health is more important than money.
  • Of all the people I know, Max is the most important.
  • Women are more intelligent than men.
  • Mary is the most intelligent person I've ever met.

Exceptions.

Irregular adjectives.
Irregular Adjective
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
good
better
best
bad
worse
worst
far
farther
farthest
little
less
least
many
more
most
  • Italian food is better than American food.
  • My dog is the best dog in the world.
  • My mother's cooking is worse than your mother's cooking.
  • Of all the students in the class, Max is the worst.
Two-syllable adjectives that follow two rules. These adjectives can be used with -er and -est and with more and most.
Two-Syllable Adjective
Comparative Form
Superlative Form
clever
cleverer
cleverest
clever
more clever
most clever
gentle
gentler
gentlest
gentle
more gentle
most gentle
friendly
friendlier
friendliest
friendly
more friendly
most friendly
quiet
quieter
quietest
quiet
more quiet
most quiet
simple
simpler
simplest
simple
more simple
most simple
  • Big dogs are gentler than small dogs.
  • Of all the dogs in the world, English Mastiffs are the gentlest.
  • Big dogs are more gentle than small dogs.
  • Of all the dogs in the world, English Mastiffs are the most gentle.