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Positive, Comparative, Superlative
Transcript of Positive, Comparative, Superlative
Adjectives and Adverbs Positive:
Describes a quality; indicates no comparison Comparative:
Indicates comparisons between TWO qualities (greater or lesser) Superlative:
Indicates comparisons among MORE THAN TWO qualities
(greatest or least) Examples:
Positive: Comparative: Superlative:
Big Bigger Biggest The Rule for the Comparative for Adjectives:
One-syllable adjectives and many two-syllable ones
(mostly ending in -y, -ly, -le, -er, and -ow)): Add -er
slow = slower
funny = funnier
lovely = lovelier
(note the final y becomes i before adding -er)
Two-syllable adjectives; all long adjectives:
Add "more" or "less" before the adjective
incredible = more incredible
famous = less famous The Rule for the Comparative for Adverbs:
Adverbs ending in -ly indicate a greater degree with "more"
slowly= more slow
Other adverbs use the -er ending to indicate a greater degree
soon = sooner
All adverbs indicate a lesser degree with "less"
slow = less slowly soon = less soon The Comparative The Superlative The Rule for the Superlative for Adjectives:
Adjectives that form the comparative with -er, simply change the -er to -est to form the superlative
nicer = nicest
funnier = funniest
Adjectives that indicate the comparative with "more" use "most" to indicate the superlative
more famous = most famous
more challenging = most challenging
All adjectives indicate the least degree with "least"
least interesting least enjoyable Note:
Never use both "more" and -er to form the comparative degree.
Faulty: Nothing could have been more easier.
Revised: Nothing could have been easier.
Faulty: The package arrived more later than the letter.
Revised: The package arrived later than the letter. The Rule for the Superlative for Adverbs:
The majority of adverbs are preceded by "most" to indicate the greatest degree.
most quickly most helpfully most efficiently
Others use the -est ending to indicate the greatest degree.
All adverbs use "least" to indicate the least degree
least willingly least fashionably Note:
Never use both "most" and -est to form the superlative degree.
Faulty: Jack is the most meanest person in town.
Revised: Jack is the meanest person in town. Irregular Comparatives and Superlatives:
Postive Comparative Superlative
ADJECTIVES good better best
bad worse worst
a little less least
many, some, more worst
ADVERBS well better best
badly worse worst Illogical Comparisons:
Many adjectives and adverbs have absolute meanings - that is, they can logically exist only in the positive degree. Words like "perfect," unique," "excellent," "impossible," and "dead" can never be used in the comparative or superlative degree.
FAULTY: The vase is the most unique piece in her collection.
REVISED: The vase in her collection is unique.
Absolutes can, however, be modified by words that suggest approaching the absolute state - "nearly" or "almost," for example
Example: He revised until his draft was almost perfect. Works Cited
Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell.
The Holt Handbook. 4th ed. New York, NY:
Harcourt Brace, 1995. 424-27. Print.