What is Degree of comparison?Degree of comparison is used when we compare one person or one thing to another. An adjective has three forms called degrees of comparison. They are:
• Positive degree
• Comparative degree
• Superlative degree
Positive degree of comparison
This is most simple or basic form of adjective. It is positive because it does not relate to any superior or inferior quality. It talks about only one person or thing.
• The garden is big.
• She is a good singer.
This is used to denote the mere existence of some quality. Here no comparisons are made.
Comparative degree of comparison
This is a form of adjective or adverb which denotes the degree or grade by which a person or thing has a property greater or less in extent than that of another. This shows a higher degree of quality that is present in the positive degree. When two sets or things are compared, this can be used.
• Rani is prettier than Riya.
• Tom is taller than Ali.
Superlative degree of comparison
This is the form of an adjective that indicates that the person or thing modified has the quality of the adjective to a degree greater than anything it is being compared to in the given context. They are typically formed with the suffix –est or the word most. Here the definite article or possessive pronoun is placed before the comparative. It is the extreme degree of comparison. We use superlative degree when we compare more than two persons or things.
• This is the tallest building.
• Mona is the brightest girl in class.
Rules of comparison of adjectives
1.Comparison of Equality.Here as… as is used for positive comparison and (not) so…as (for negative comparison)
• His writing is as neat as yours.
• His work is not as good as yours.
2. Comparison of inferiorityHere less than and the adjective is used.
• It is less warm tonight than it was yesterday.
• Sam is less thin than Sandy.
3. Superlative of inferiority.The least of (or in) and the adjective can be used.
• I am least interested in her business.
• Yesterday was the least hot day of the month.
4. Comparative and Superlative of Superiority.Monosyllabic adjectives form their comparative and superlative by adding er and est to the positive degree.
• Hot hotter than the hottest.
Exceptions:• right more right than the most right.
• real more real than the most real.
• wrong more wrong than the most wrong.
Adjectives with more than two syllables form their comparative and superlative by putting more and most in front of the adjectives.
• important more important than the most important
Disyllabic adjectives form their comparative and superlative in two different ways.
a. Adjectives ending with -ed, -ing, -re, -ful and -ous and those with stress on the first syllable take more and most.
• Beautiful more beautiful than the most beautiful.
• Hopeless more hopeless than the most hopeless.
b. Adjectives ending in er, le, ow and those with stress on the second syllable add er and est to the positive degree.
• bright brighter than the brightest
• Clever cleverer than the cleverest
Adjectives ending in some and the words cheerful, common, cruel, pleasant, civil, quiet may be compared by adding er and est or by more and most.
5. Orthographic notesa) Add R and ST to adjectives ending in E.
• ripe riper ripest
b) Vowel sandwich( vowel + consonant+ vowel)
Here the last vowel is doubled.
• Fat fatter than the fattest
c) Adjectives ending in Y are preceded by a consonant.
Change Y into I before er and est.
• happy happier than the happiest.
• Shy shyer than the shyest
• Gray grayer than the grayest
6. Irregular ComparisonsExample:
• Many more than the most
• Old older than the oldest
• Bad worse than the worst
• Far farther than the farthest etc.
a. Gradual increase
7. Construction with Comparatives.
• Life is getting more and more difficult.
• Supply is getting lesser and lesser.
b. Parallel increase
• The warmer, the better.
• The more he writes, the better he becomes. .
What is the difference between comparatives and superlatives?
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