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.
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.
Worksheets and downloads
Oliver: So, where do you get the best pizza in London?
Alfie: No doubt about it, it has to be Pietro’s.
Daisy: No way! The pizzas in La Bella Napoli, just around the corner, are so much tastier ... and they’ve got more variety ... and the friendliest waiters!
Oliver: Yeah, I think she’s right, Alfie; much better quality. It’s not the cheapest though, but they’re so good!
Alfie: All right then, yeah, La Bella Napoli is nearer than Pietro’s. The cheese isn’t as good though, and for me it’s all in the cheese!
Daisy: You could have pasta?
Alfie: Pasta in La Bella Napoli? They do the most disgusting pasta I’ve ever tasted.
Daisy: All right!
Daisy: Hi, Mum. How’s Rome?
Sophie: Hello, love, yes, all’s well, thanks. What are you doing?
Daisy: I’m with Oliver and Alfie. We’re going to have a pizza. I’ll put you on speaker phone.
Sophie: That’s a coincidence! I’ve just eaten the most amazing pizza ever. It was the best I’ve ever had.
Daisy: Sounds good!
Oliver: Was the base good, Mum?
Sophie: Oh yes, the crispiest base ever, really delicious.
Alfie: I wish you could send it over here, Mrs G!
Sophie: I’ll save you a slice, Alfie! So, where are you all going to eat?
Oliver: La Bella Napoli.
Sophie: Oh yes, they’re not bad. They use the worst cheese though. For me, it’s all in the cheese!
Alfie: That’s just what I said, Mrs G!
Oliver: Yeah, maybe the pizza at La Bella Napoli isn’t as good as I remember.
Daisy: Thanks a lot, Mum ... I like the pizza there. Obviously not as good as the pizza you get to eat in Rome, but it’s absolutely fine! Shall we speak tomorrow, Mum?
Sophie: OK, love, enjoy your pizza.
Daisy: Oh, I really fancied a pizza ... until Mum called.
Oliver: Yeah, me too, but thinking about the pizza in Rome ...
Alfie: It sounded so delicious!
Oliver: How about fish and chips?
Daisy: Good idea, you can’t go wrong with fish and chips.
Alfie: Yeah, you know what they say ... When in Rome ...
Oliver: When in Rome? What do you mean?
Alfie: You know that saying ... When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Oliver: Ah ...
Daisy: Fish and chips it is then - but should we go to Hubbard’s or The Dolphin?
Which meal do you think is tastier, fish and chips or pizza? Where do you get the best pizza where you live?