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Learning Zone
Learning Zone
Grammar

Adjective – general information & comparison

Level: A1, A2
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GENERAL INFORMATION
COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES

GENERAL INFORMATION

The adjective is a part of speech answering questions: What kind? How many? Which one?

Adjective determine a noun and in a sentence is put before a noun or after a verb:

He’s got a lovely tie.
His tie is lovely.


COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES

There are two ways of creating comparative and superlative in English.

Choosing a way of comparison depend on syllable number or adjective ending:

My car was cheaper than yours.
Tom is the most handsome guy I’ve ever met!

Not all adjectives can be compared. Ungradable adjectives describe unchangeable qualities:

pink
broken
square

SHORT ADJECTIVES 

Monosyllabic and disyllabic adjectives ending with y create comparative by adding the ending -er, while superlative by adding the ending est:

small – smaller  – the smallest
big – bigger – the biggest
easy – easier – the easiest

Rusty is smaller than Tony, but Rex is the smallest of all my pets.

A van is bigger than a passenger car, but lorry is the biggest.

Exercise 1 is easier than exercise 2. Exercise 3 is the easiest.

 Exceptions to the rule!

 Monosyllabic adjectives ending with ed compare like disyllabic or more syllabic.

DISYLLABIC AND MORE SYLLABIC ADJECTIVES 

We compare disyllabic and more syllabic adjectives descriptively. We use the expressions “more” and “the most”:

boring – more boring – the most boring
famous – more famous – the most famous
This book is boring. That book is even more boring. But the most boring book I’ve ever read is that one.

My grandfather was a famous singer.
My uncle was more famous than my grandfather. I’m going to be the most famous singer in whole family.

 GENTLER OR MORE GENTLE?

Some adjectives can be compared in two ways, by adding endings -er or -t and by using more and most:

common
gentle
polite
handsome
stupid
pleasant
narrow
cruel
simple

You should be a little politer.
You should be a little bit more polite.

It’s one of the commonest mistakes made by learners of English.
It’s one of the most common mistakes made by learners of English.

SPELLING RULES ADDING ENDINGS -ER AND -EST

Adjectives ending with -e or -y:

e er/est

large – larger – largest
safe – safer – safest

y ier/iest

dirty – dirtier – dirtiest
happy – happier – happiest

Adjectives ending with a single consonant preceded by a short vowel:

ending consonant doubling

wet – wetter – wettest
big – bigger – biggest

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