Comparative and Superlative Adverbs for intermediate learners

Adverbs are used to modify adjectives adverbs and verbs, but what if we want to make a comparison between things by using these adverbs? Read more.

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"Comparative and Superlative Adverbs" in the English Grammar

What Are Comparative and Superlative Adverbs?

In the English language, when we want to compare two actions or states, we use comparative adverbs. However, when we want to compare multiple items, people, or states with each other to find the best or worst among them, we use superlative adverbs.

Degrees of Comparison

In order to compare, different degrees of comparison must be considered. Let us take a quick look at the list below:

  • The Comparative Degree
  • The Superlative Degree

Tip!

It is useful to know that when the adverb is not used to compare two or more things with each other, it is in the positive degree or normal form.

The Comparative Degree

When we want to compare two people, items, or states, we use the comparative form. In this stage, the greater or lesser degree of adverbs is shown. The structure differs based on words. Let us study them below.

One-syllable Adverbs

If the adverbs are only one-syllable, they only get an '-er' at the end. Let us study the table below:

Comparative Adverbs
Fast Faster
High Higher
Close Closer
Near Nearer
Low Lower

Two-syllable Adverbs

If the adverbs have two or more syllables, the determiner 'more' is added before them. Pay attention to the following table carefully:

Comparative Adverbs
Slowly More slowly
Quickly More quickly
Recently More recently
Horribly More horribly

Irregular Adverbs

Some adverbs change completely when they become comparative adverbs. Let us take a look at the following table:

The Comparative Adverbs
Good Better
Bad Worse
Little Less
Much More

How Do We Use Them?

When we want to use comparative adverbs in statements, we add 'than' after the adverb to show the degree between two things. Make sure you study the following examples carefully:

Angie runs faster than Maggie.

She tends to type more slowly than her coworkers.

The Superlative Degree

When we want to compare more than two people, items, or states with each other, we use the superlative form. In this case, we want to show the best or worst degree of something or someone. Let us examine them carefully.

One-syllable Adverbs

When the adverb has only one syllable, we should add the suffix '-est' to change it to the superlative form. Take a look at the following examples:

The Superlative Adverbs
Fast Fastest
Close Closest
High Highest
Near Nearest

Two-syllable Adverbs

When we have two or more syllables in an adverb, we add the determiner most before the adverb. In this case, we are referring to the greatest or the least degree between multiple things. Let us carefully examine the table below:

The Superlative Adverbs
Beautifully Most Beautifully
Carefully Most carefully
Happily Most happily
Horribly Most Horribly

Irregular Adverbs

Just like the comparative form, there are some adverbs that change completely when they become superlative. Let us take a look at the following table:

The Superlative Adverbs
Good Best
Bad Worst
Little Least
Far Farthest

How Do We Use Them?

Here, we want to see how we can use these superlative adverbs in statements. So, make sure you study the following examples carefully:

Amongst you all, Amy writes her homework the best.

The purple horse ran the fastest in the race.

Warning!

Always remember that not all adverbs can have comparative and superlative forms. Mainly, those that are gradable and have a point on a scale have comparative and superlative forms. Compare the following examples:

Archie typed the fastest among all.

The red one looks absolutely better on you than the yellow one.

(Not the red one looks the most absolutely ...)

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