Comparative and superlative forms

May 30, 2012pdf

The comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs are used to compare and contrast people and things. In this comparative and superlative guide, you will find example sentences and practical activities for study at home.

Use the comparative form (e.g. taller, sharper, stronger, better) to show the difference between two people or objects.

  • Susie is prettier than Mary.
  • China is larger than India.
  • Cycling is healthier than driving.

Use the superlative form (e.g. tallest, sharpest, strongest, best) to compare three or more people or objects.

  • Susie is the prettiest girl in my neighborhood. (Here Susie is being compared with all the girls in the neighborhood.)
  • Greenland is the largest island in the world.
  • The Nile is the longest river in the world.
  • Mumbai is the most populous city in India.

Prepositions after superlatives

After superlatives we do not usually use of with a singular word referring to a place or group.

  • He is the tallest man in the world. (NOT He is the tallest man of the world.)
  • Who is the best player in the team? (NOT Who is the best player of the team?)

But of can be used before plural nouns. It can also be used with quantifiers like lot and bunch.

  • She is the fastest of them all.
  • She is the best of the lot.

Complete the following sentences using appropriate comparative or superlative forms.

1. I’m the ……………………………… (greatest / greater)

2. Iron is the ……………………………. of all metals. (most useful / more useful)

3. She thinks she is the …………………………… woman in the world. (prettiest / prettier)

4. He explained it all thoroughly, but I was still none the …………………………… (wiser / wisest)

Answers

1. I’m the greatest.

2. Iron is the most useful of all metals.

3. She thinks she is the prettiest woman in the world.

4. He explained it all thoroughly, but I was still none the wiser.

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