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As we have seen, adjectives describe qualities of nouns. Some of these qualities can vary in degree or intensity (gradable adjectives). When we want to make comparisons contrasting qualities or attributes of a noun, we do so by means of an adjective in one of three grades.
Grades of Adjectives
Gradable adjectives can vary in degree or intensity and therefore can have comparative and superlative forms. See below for rules on how to form the comparative and superlative forms.
The positive grade
The positive grade, which we saw previously, is the quality in the simplest grade.
The Comparative Grade
When making comparisons, we can highlight the superiority, inferiority or equality of one quality or another. The structure of each of these grades of comparison is different.
1. Comparisons of superiority. In comparisons of superiority, the adjective, which is in the comparative form (see below), is followed by “”.
2. Comparisons of inferiority. To form this type of comparison we can use the conjunctions “…” or “…”. In both cases, the adjective is in the positive grade.
3. Comparisons of equality. With the adjective in the positive grade, we use the conjunction “…” to form comparisons of equality.
The Superlative Grade
The superlative grade denotes a quality at its highest degree and is formed using the article “” in front of the superlative form of the adjective (see below).
Below are the rules for forming the comparative and superlative forms of gradable adjectives.
1. For one syllable adjectives:
2. For one syllable adjectives that end in “-e”:
3. For one syllable adjectives that end in “consonant + vowel + consonant”:
4. For two syllable adjectives that end in “-y”:
5. For adjectives of two syllables or more:
|add: “more”/ “less” |
| add: “the most”/ “the least”: |
the most beautiful
the least beautiful
6. Irregular adjectives: