Comparatives and Superlatives

English Grammar Rules


We use Comparatives and Superlatives to compare two or more nouns.

The formation of the comparative and superlative depends on the number of syllables in the adjective:

One-syllable Adjectives

To form the comparative, we add -er to the end of the adjective.

To form the superlative, we add -est to the end of the adjective.


Adjective Comparative Superlative
small smaller the smallest
cold colder the coldest
light lighter the lightest
short shorter the shortest

Remember that comparatives are often followed by than.


Two-syllable Adjectives ending in -Y

To form the comparative, we remove the -y and add -ier to the end of the adjective.

To form the superlative, we remove the -y and add -iest to the end of the adjective.

Adjective Comparative Superlative
crazy crazier the craziest
happy happier the happiest
early earlier the earliest


Adjectives with Two or more Syllables

For Adjectives with 2 syllables (that don't end in -y) and higher (3, 4 syllables etc), we use more for comparatives and the most for superlatives.

Adjective Comparative Superlative
handsome more handsome the most handsome
nervous more nervous the most nervous
enthusiastic more enthusiastic the most enthusiastic


Irregular Forms

Adjective Comparative Superlative
good better the best
bad worse the worst
far further / farther the furthest / farthest


Note: Further / farther, furthest / farthest are all used for distance.

Only Further / furthest are used to mean 'additional' or 'more advanced'.


Remember that the opposites of 'more' and 'most' are 'less' and 'least', respectively.




Next activity

If you would like to play an interactive game to practice Comparatives and Superlatives, visit here: Comparatives & Superlatives Game


If you found this English Grammar about Comparatives & Superlatives useful, let others know about it:


Grammar Notes

A variety of English grammar notes and rules including charts and examples for beginner to advanced level students.

Learn Grammar

Grammar Games

Improve your English with our interactive English grammar games. There are many different topics and levels.

Play our Games

Connect with us

Woodward English on Facebook Woodward English on Twitter Woodward English on YouTube Woodward English on TSU Woodward English on Pinterest Woodward English on Google Plus