As you know adjectives are used to describe the nouns and here I wish to show you that they are also used to compare two or more different objects while describing them. Here are two rules for use in such comparison:

1. Positive, Comparative & Superlative

The Positive is used when speaking of or describing an object, eg. short, big.

The Comparative is used when comparing two objects and is formed by adding “-er” to the Positive, e.g. shorter, bigger.

The Superlative is used when speaking of more than two objects and is formed by adding “-est” to the Positive e.g. shortest, biggest.

Positive Comparative Superlative
big bigger biggest
far farther farthest
fast faster fastest
gay gayer gayest
great greater greatest
high higher highest
late later latest
long longer longest
old older oldest
small smaller smallest
smart smarter smartest
tall taller tallest
thin thinner thinnest

The following are exceptions to the rule which you will have to learn by heart.    

Positive Comparative Superlative
bad worse worst
good better best
little less least
many more most
much more most

Examples:

  • Peter is shorter than his brother by almost a head.
  • He is the least surprised over the news compared to the others.
  • I am older than you by 5 years.
  • Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

2. Using “More” & “Most” for adjectives with two or more syllables

Generally for adjectives of two or more syllables “more” is used comparatively, and “most” is used superlatively, e.g. careful, more careful, most careful.

Positive Comparative Superlative
beautiful more beautiful most beautiful
brilliant more brilliant most brilliant
cautious more cautious most cautious
comfortable more comfortable most comfortable
generous more generous most generous
gracious more gracious most gracious
handsome more handsome most handsome
ignorant more ignorant most ignorant

Examples:

  • This sofa is the most comfortable among all displayed in the showroom.
  • Sally is more beautiful now compared to herself before the makeover.
  • Kelly is the most brilliant kid in the whole classroom.
  • Uncle Sam is the most generous among the members of this big family.