So, what do you think? Which animal is faster, the rabbit or the turtle? Common sense says the rabbit, but one fable says differently… Nevertheless, let us focus on some adjective forms here… (if you have forgotten what adjectives are, here are some examples: tall, beautiful, clean, clever, etc.)
You must have already noticed the two worms on each side of the central drawing which represent adjectives, short and long ones (adjectives with one and two syllables, and adjectives with more than two syllables, respectively).
Basically, all you have to learn about adjective comparisons for now is the following: there is one rule pertaining to adjectives with one and two syllables (the small warm) and another rule pertaining to adjectives with more than two syllables (the longer warm).
- Now, take a look at the little worm on the right side and the (we will always start reading a map clockwise). As you can see, the rule is to add –ER to the adjective if you want to form the comparative form, or add –EST to the adjective if you want to form the superlative.
Remember: you should always use THE with superlatives!
Let us try out the rule for short adjectives: clean – cleanER – the cleanEST
small – smallER – the smallEST
rich – richER – the richEST
It’s very easy, isn’t it?
- Let’s continue. Now have a look at the next light blue branch related to spelling. The rule that you should now is: when the adjective ends in consonant, vowel, consonant, the final consonant will double.
For example: big – bigger – the biggest
(Note: vowels are: a, e, i, o, u; the rest are consonants).
One more thing, if the adjective ends in y, change the y to i and add –er or –est
- Now, focus on the green branch and the long worm on it. As I have already mentioned, it is a visual representative of adjectives with more than two syllables, or simply, long adjectives.
Since it would be too much to add suffixes to already long words, the rule is: make two words – the comparative form: MORE + adjective; the superlative form – THE MOST+ adjective.
Let us try out tre rule: beautiful – MORE beautiful – THE MOST beautiful
important – MORE important – THE MOST important
Again, it is so sipmle!
- And, finally, in every language there are some exceptions. Here they are (the purple branch) when we talk about adjectives:
- Good – better- the best
- Bad – worse – the worst
- Little –less – the least
- Far – further – the furthest
- Much/many – more – the most
Note: when we talk about the adjective far, it is worth mentioning that the comparative form can also be farther, and superlative the farthest (only in contexts relating to distance), but further and the furthest can be used in all contexts (both distance and tiem), so I just put this one form here, to make it easier.
And that’s it! Let’s repeat just the basic rules:
- For short adjectives, add –ER and –EST to make the comparative and superlative form. And don’t forget the in the superlative!
- For long adjectives, use MORE and the MOST