We use comparative and superlative forms of adjectives to make comparisons. Here’s how you can make comparative and superlative forms:
To create the comparative form of one-syllable adjectives and some two-syllable adjectives (especially those ending in -y, such as happy, healthy, friendly), add -er to the end of the adjective. For longer adjectives (usually those with two or more syllables), use more before the adjective.
Than is commonly used to make comparisons between two things or individuals.
To form the superlative degree of one-syllable adjectives and some two-syllable adjectives (especially those ending in -y, such as happy, healthy, friendly), add -est to the end of the adjective. For longer adjectives (usually those with two or more syllables), use most before the adjective. Superlatives are usually preceded by definite article the.
Superlative adjectives, which describe the highest degree of a quality among three or more things, do not require the use of than.
When adding the endings -er and -est to form the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives, there are certain rules to follow:
When the base adjective ends in e, simply add -r to form the comparative: wide → wider.
Similarly, when forming the superlative, add -st to the base adjective ending in e: wide → widest.
When the base adjective ends in a consonant (e.g. p, t, s) followed by y, change the y, to i and then add -er: easy → easier
For the superlative, change the y to i and then add -est: easy → easiest
When the base adjective has one syllable and ends in a single consonant preceded by a single short vowel, double the final consonant before adding -er: big → bigger
Similarly, for the superlative, double the final consonant before adding -est: big → biggest.
There are some irregular adjectives that do not follow the regular pattern. Here are some common examples:
good -> better -> the best
bad -> worse -> the worst
little -> less -> the least
Additionally, certain adjectives can be modified with both -er/-est and more/most forms, but there might be a difference in meaning. For example: clever
Comparative cleverer and superlative the cleverest refer to a specific aspect of cleverness.
Comparative more clever and superlative the most clever refer to general comparison of cleverness.