The Complete List of
English Spelling Rules
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
this series of lessons, you will learn useful spelling rules
This lesson will give you helpful guidelines so that you know how to
spell comparative and superlative adjectives in English.
a free worksheet + answer key.
As you know, in order to form comparative and superlative adjectives
in English, you need to change the adjective
For shorter adjectives, you need to add -er
to the end of the
word to make a comparative or add -est
to form a superlative.
For longer words, we add "more" before the adjective for the
comparative form or "most" for the superlative.
1. Adding -er or -est to form a comparative
Barry is taller
than Eric. Eric is shorter
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
The words "tall" and "short" are adjectives. They describe Barry or
Eric. Since both of these words are only one syllable
we simply add -er
the end of the word to make comparatives.
One-syllable words that end in a double consonant (or two vowels and a
single consonant) simply take the -er
the end. Here are some examples:
2. Adding -er or -est to a one-syllable adjective that ends in a single
vowel and a single consonant
Harold's clothes could not possibly be wetter
the adjective you want to make into a comparative or superlative is
only one syllable long and ends in a single vowel and a single
consonant, you must double the final consonant, then add -er
Here are some common examples:
3. Adding -er or -est to an adjective that ends in Y
That was the funniest
thing I have ever heard!
When the adjective ends in a y
you must change the y
to an i
then add -er
the comparative or the superlative.
4. Adding -er or -est to a one-syllable adjective that ends in
Wow, your cat is much larger
For adjectives that end in e
you must only add -r
make a comparative and -st
to make a superlative.
Here are some common examples of these adjectives:
5. Making comparatives or superlatives with adjectives that have two or
Karen is the most
person I know!
One-syllable adjectives in English follow the rules above to add -er
Adjectives with three or more syllables add the word "more" before them
to become comparatives, and "most" to become superlatives.
Most two-syllable adjectives will take "more" or "most," but if they
end in -y
, or -ow
, they follow the
Here are some examples:
6. Irregular comparatives and superlatives
This pillow is much better
Finally, there are some very common adjectives that have irregular
forms for their comparatives and superlatives.
Here are the most important ones for you to remember:
So, let's review what we have learned about forming comparatives and
superlatives in English:
- For one-syllable adjective, add -er (comparative) or -est (superlative) to
the end of the adjective.
- If the one-syllable adjective ends in a single vowel and a
single consonant, double the final consonant before adding -er or -est.
- For adjectives that end in -y, change the y to i, then add -er or -est.
- If the one-syllable consonant ends in -e, simply add -r or -st.
- For adjectives with two or more syllables, add "more"
adjective to form a comparative, or "most" to form a superlative
(unless the two-syllable adjective ends in -y, -le, -er, or -ow).
- Remember that there are some common irregular comparative
and superlative adjectives.
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