Comparative and superlative adjectives
The comparative form
We use the comparative form of the adjective to compare two things.
- White meat is healthier than red meat.
- Travelling by bus is more comfortable than travelling by train.
less … than
We can also use the form less + adjective + than. Less is the opposite of more.
- Peter is less considerate than Marta. (=Marta is more considerate)
(not) as … as
We can also use the form (not) as + adjective + as.
- Peter isn’t as considerate as Marta. (=Marta is more considerate)
than me / than I am
After than or as … as we use an object pronoun (me, you, him, etc.) or a subject pronoun (I, you, he, she, etc.) + auxiliary verb.
- My sister is taller than me.
- My sister is taller than I am.
much/a lot/a bit more…
Before the comparative (more or -er) we can use much, a lot or a bit.
- He’s a bit taller than me.
- Florence is much more interesting than Pisa.
- This car is a lot more expensive.
any/no more than
We can use any/no + comparative (any better, no faster, any more expensive, etc.). We use any in negative sentences and no with positive verbs.
- Your performance was no better than mine.
- Your performance wasn’t any better than mine.
We use the superlative form of an adjective or adverb to compare more than two things.
the most … in …
After the superlative we use in + names of places or singular words for groups of people (class, school, team, family, etc.)
- She is the best student in the class.
- He’s the tallest in the family.
- Messi is the best player in the world. (NOT of the class, etc.)
We normally use of + periods of time or a number of people (of the year, of my life, of my brothers, of the students, etc.).
- It was the best evening of my life.
- I am the tallest of my brothers.
the most … I have ever …
We often use the superlative with the present perfect tense and ever.
- This is the best movie I’ve ever watched.
- She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.
the/my/Tom’s best …
Before the superlative we always use the, or my/your/his/etc. or Tom’s/Jenny’s/etc.)
- He is the best.
- This is my most expensive jacket.
- This is Paul’s best friend.
The opposite of the most is the least
- He is the least hardworking student in the class.
Comparing actions with adverbs
We can use the comparative or superlative form of adverbs to compare actions.
- She drives fast, but I drive faster.
- He plays well, but I play better than him.
With adverbs ending in –ly, you must always use more to form the comparative, and most to form the superlative
- She speaks more quietly than her boss. (NOT
- He cooks well, but more slowly than his workmates. (NOT
For adverbs that that have the same form as adjectives, the comparative and superlative forms are like adjectives: add –er to form the comparative and –est to form the superlative. The most common of these adverbs are: late-later, early-earlier, fast-faster, hard-harder, long-longer.
- He works harder than me.
- She always arrives earlier than her boss.
- It took us longer than usual to arrive because of the traffic.