We can express the same idea using different degrees of comparison. Study the sentences given below.
John is as tall as Mike.
Tall is an adjective in the positive degree. Here we are comparing the height of two people with a positive adjective. If John and Mike are of the same height, Mike is not taller than John.
See how the same idea is expressed using both positive and comparative adjectives.
John is as tall as Mike. = Mike is not taller than John.
Another example is given below
- Very few countries in the world are as large as China. (Positive)
- China is larger than most other countries in the world. (Comparative)
- China is one of the largest countries in the world. (Superlative)
- No other man was as strong as Hercules. (Positive)
- Hercules was stronger than any other man. (Comparative)
- Hercules was the strongest man in the world. (Superlative)
- No other boy in the class is as intelligent as James. (Positive)
- James is more intelligent than any other boy in the class. (Comparative)
- James is the most intelligent boy in the class. (Superlative)
- Very few Indian saints were as popular as Vivekananda. (Positive)
- Vivekananda was more popular than most other Indian saints. (Comparative)
- Vivekananda was one of the most popular Indian saints. (Superlative)
- Maria is not as intelligent as Sonia. (Positive)
- Sonia is more intelligent than Maria. (Comparative)
When a comparison is made between two individuals we do not normally use the superlative.
Alice is the prettier of the two sisters. (More natural than ‘Alice is the prettiest of the two sisters.’)