Comparative and superlative adjectives

Comparative and superlative adjectives

Instructions: 

As you watch the video, look at the examples of comparatives and superlative adjectives. They are in red in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, comparatives and superlative adjectives correctly.

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Sophie is working in Rome this week. Oliver, Alfie and Daisy have decided to eat out tonight.

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.

 

Total votes: 2706

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Discussion

Which meal do you think is tastier, fish and chips or pizza? Where do you get the best pizza where you live?

Comments

Srilal's picture
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Dear Sir
Please explain this: There are two principal types of smoke alarms. Ionization alarms are the cheapest.
In the second sentence why the writer uses 'the cheapest' why not 'cheaper'
Please let me know.
Best regards
Srilal

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5 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
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Hi Srilal! Good question! The writer uses the superlative, which is for comparing more than two things. They say there are two principal types, but this suggests that there are also other types. So to compare all of these - the principal types and the others - the writer uses a superlative. Best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

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6 users have voted.
julian6428's picture
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I’m more interested in music than sport. - This computer is better than that one. - This book is not as exciting as the last one. - The cafeteria is not as crowded as usual. - Alice teaches worse than my mother.

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7 users have voted.
lekimkhanh0109's picture
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I've never eaten fish and chips before so I don't know its taste. I've tried pizza . I think it's delicious if it's cooked with the best cheese. Mmmm, I want to know fish and chips, can you help me? Just through a picture or a recipe. Thank you so much!!!

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34 users have voted.
Tina - Coordinator's picture
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Dear lekimkhanh0109!
A plate of fish and chips is one of my favourite English dishes ... you could take a look at our video all about food in Britain and at the very last part you will see a chip :)
I hope you enjoy watching it ... Tina (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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32 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
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I like pizza better than fish and chips.
Cuz fish and chips is all about cod, oil and potatoes, while a pizza has various toppings of vegetables, cheese, meet, anchovy…etc.
I like colorful food! ☆

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81 users have voted.
princess2001's picture
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I think fish is tastier than pizza. Being not fond of pizza, I don't know where the best pizza is got in the area where I live. I like fish more than pizza. I love the fish fried at home. I don't hesitate to admit that it's not the tastiest fish in the world though.

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82 users have voted.
lalla02's picture
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I love pizza. If you come in Italy you can eat the best pizza in the world. I never eat fish and chips... In my city, there are a lot of pizzerias

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85 users have voted.
nawaki's picture
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In my opinion,chips and fish are not as tast as pizza.In my town , we don't have a special place for getting pizza, so we make it at home ,it is the tastest pizza in the world I think !

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104 users have voted.
pierina's picture
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I really love pizza.in Quito,there are many kinds of pizza,such as double cheese,chicken.i don't like pizza hut,in it,pizza on discount is not good.

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108 users have voted.
nandosc9's picture
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For me, pizza is better than fish. The pizza has more variety of flavors than fish.
I think that the best pizza in Quito is Papa Jhons's pizza. Is the tastiest and also, has a lot of promotions.

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114 users have voted.

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