1.  Most adjectives of one syllable and some of more than one syllable form the comparative by adding “-er” and the superlative by adding “-est.” to the positive.

Positive            Comparative            Superlative

bold                  bolder                     boldest

clever               cleverer                   cleverest

deep                 deeper                    deepest

sweet               sweeter                   sweetest

tall                   taller                        tallest

2.  When the positive ends in “e”, add “-r” for the comparative and “-st” for the superlative.
Positive              Comparative            Superlative

able                     abler                      ablest

brave                   braver                    bravest

fine                      finer                      finest

simple                  simpler                   simplest

wise                     wiser                      wisest

3.  When the positive ends in “y”, preceded by a consonant, the “y” is changed into “i” before adding “-er” for the comparative and “-est” for the superlative.
Positive              Comparative            Superlative

busy                   busier                     busiest

happy                 happier                   happiest

noisy                  noisier                     nosiest

pretty                 prettier                   prettiest

4.  When the positive is a word of one syllable and ends in a single consonant, preceded by a short vowel, the consonant is doubled before adding “–er” for the comparative and “-est” for the superlative.

Positive             Comparative            Superlative

big                    bigger                     biggest

fat                    fatter                      fattest

hot                   hotter                     hottest

sad                   sadder                    saddest

thin                  thinner                   thinnest

5.  Adjectives of more than two or more syllables form the comparative by using the adverb “more”, and form superlative by using the adverb “most”.

Positive              Comparative              Superlative

beautiful            more beautiful            most beautiful

courageous        more courageous        most courageous

difficult              more difficult              most difficult

satisfactory        more satisfactory        most satisfactory

useful                more useful                 most useful

Notes

(a).  Be careful, not to use “more” along with a Comparative formed with “er”, and “most” along with a  Superlative formed with “est”, i.e. do not write  ‘more heavier’ or ‘most heaviest’.

(b). the “as…..as” construction is used to make a comparison expressing equality.

Example

  • She is as intelligent as her mother.

6.  Irregular Comparison: Some adjectives are compared irregularly, i.e. their comparatives and superlatives are not formed from the positive.

Positive             Comparative           Superlative

good                 better                      best

bad                   worse                      worst

little                  less                         least

far                    farther                     farthest

many                more                        most

Activity”The Picture Game”

Level

All levels

Aims

Writing, grammar (structure, spellings)

Notes:Make photocopies of a picture containing three different animals or objects; e.g. a picture showing a cow, a rhinoceros and an elephant. Give each student a copy of this picture along with a sheet of paper. Ask the students to write their names on the sheet and make two sentences each for the positive, comparative and superlative degree by comparing and contrasting the animals or objects. They are also required to write the degree of adjective in a parenthesis at the end of each sentence. Let the students work individually. Set a time limit. At the end of the time limit, the sheets are collected and marked by the teacher.

 Sample Sentences    

  1. A cow is a large animal. (positive degree)
  2. The elephant has a long trunk. (positive degree)
  3. A rhinoceroses is larger than a cow. (comparative degree)
  4. A cow has thinner legs than a rhinoceroses. (comparative degree)
  5. An elephant is the largest of all these animals. (superlative degree)

Outcomes:This activity helps the teacher to know the students’ understanding of the positive, comparative and superlative degrees, spellings and grammatical structure.  Besides, it helps the students to think creatively. Finally, it will ensure that they have understood the topic completely.