Comparative and superlative adjectives
When we want to compare two or more things, we can change the form of adjectives by adding –er or –est. We can also use extra words like more or most and expressions like not as … as.
Here are some examples:
I think you're taller than me. (tall)
She's the tallest in the group. (tall)
The pizzas in La Bella Napoli are better than the ones in Pietro's. (good)
It was the best pizza I've ever had! (good)
People say Bioshock is a more exciting game than Skyrim. (exciting)
Grand Theft Auto is the most exciting video game. (exciting)
Mmm, I don't quite see what the rule is here.
With most one-syllable adjectives, we add –er or –est, and with most adjectives with two syllables or more, we add more or (the) most. In comparatives, we also use than before the second thing which is compared, if it is mentioned.
La Bella Napoli is nearer than Pietro's. (near)
It's not the cheapest restaurant though. (cheap)
With one-syllable adjectives ending in vowel + consonant, remember to double the final consonant before –er/–est.
big → bigger → biggest
If the adjective ends in –e, just add –r or –st.
large → larger → largest
So what are the exceptions, apart from good → better → best?
Other exceptions are bad → worse → worst and far → further/farther → furthest/farthest.
They use the worst cheese.
What about adjectives ending in –y, like crazy? My brother is crazier than me.
Yes, that's correct. With adjectives ending in y, you change the y to i and add er/ est.
lucky → luckier → luckiest happy → happier → happiest
They've got the friendliest waiters!
With most adjectives with typical adjective endings, and with two or more syllables, you use more/most + adjective.
They do the most disgusting pasta I've ever tasted.
What other ways of comparing things are there?
We often use not as … as.
I'm not as tall as you. (= I'm smaller than you)
Maybe the pizza at La Bella Napoli isn't as good as I remember.
And what about less and least?
Yes, less and least are also ways of comparing things. They are used more in writing.
It is less cold in the north of the country than in the south. (the north is warmer, but both north and south are cold)
Of the four participants, Bill is the least experienced. (the other three have more experience)
OK, this isn't as hard as I thought. I think I've got it, more or less.