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Degree Words | Grammatical Degrees of comparison - Adjective

The degrees of adjective are some adjective of qualities. These words intensify the qualities of a noun or a pronoun by comparing two or more persons or things or animals.

Grammatical Degrees of comparison - Adjective


Classification of Degrees of Comparison:

There are three types of degrees of comparison -

  1. Positive Degree,
  2. Comparative Degree and 
  3. Superlative Degree.


Positive Degree:

The positive degree is the simplest form of adjective.

E.g. – young, big.

● I am young

● This house is big.


Comparative Degree:

It is the form of adjective which is used to make comparison between two persons or animals or things.

E.g. – younger, bigger.

● I am younger than he. 

● This house is bigger than that house.


Superlative Degree:

This form of adjective is used to make comparison between more than two persons or objects.

E.g. – youngest, biggest.

● I am the youngest son of my family.  

● This house is the biggest house in the city.


Positive, comparative and superlative forms of adjectives: 


Rule 1:

Monosyllabic Adjectives: 
For monosyllabic adjectives (adjective of single syllable) '-er' is added in comparative degree and '-est' is added in superlative degree.

Positive Comparative Superlative
Fast Faster Fastest
Slow Slower Slowest
Soon Sooner Soonest
High Higher Highest
Long Longer Longest
Great Greater Greatest
Big Bigger Biggest
Small Smaller Smallest
Strong Stronger Strongest
Weak Weaker Weakest
Tall Taller Tallest
DullDuller Dullest
Short Shorter Shortest
Young Younger Youngest
Fat Fatter Fattest
Rich Richer Richest
Poor Poorer Poorest
Hard Harder Hardest
Kind Kinder Kindest
Deep Deeper Deepest
Cheap Cheaper Cheapest
Thick Thicker Thickest
Dear Dearer Dearest
Clear Clearer Clearest
Black Blacker Blackest
Bold Bolder Boldest
Cold Colder Coldest


If the adjective ends with ‘-e’, then, only ‘-r’ is added in the comparative degree and ‘-st’ is added in the superlative degree. As—

Positive Comparative Superlative
Polite Politer Politest
White Whiter Whitest
Wise Wiser Wisest
Able Abler Ablest
Brave Braver Bravest
Large Larger Largest
Little Littler Littlest
Nice Nicer Nicest
Pale Paler Palest
Fine Finer Finest
Wide Wider Widest
Noble Nobler Noblest


If the adjective ends with ‘-y’ preceded by a consonant, the -y is dropped and -ier is added in comparative degree and -iest is added in superlative degree. As—

Positive Comparative Superlative
Happy Happier Happiest
Easy Easier Easiest
Lazy Lazier Laziest
Busy Busier Busiest
Merry Merry Merriest
Healthy Healthier Healthiest
Wealthy Wealthier Wealthiest
Holy Holier Holiest
Pretty Prettier Prettiest
Dry Drier Driest



But when a vowel is proceeded by a vowel, the -y is not dropped. -er and -est are added in comparative and superlative degrees respectively. As—

Positive Comparative Superlative
Grey Greyer Greyest
Gay Gayer Gayest


If a monosyllabic adjective (adjective with single syllable) ends in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel then the consonant is doubled and then -er and -est are added. As—

Positive Comparative Superlative
Big Bigger Biggest
Hot Hotter Hottest
Sad Sadder saddest
Red Redder Reddest
Fat Fatter Fattest
Thin Thinner Thinnest



Rule 2:
Adjectives (and also adverbs) of two or more syllables:

Adjectives (and also adverbs) of two or more syllables, comparative degree and superlative degree are formed by adding the adverbs more and most respectively. As—

Positive Comparative Superlative
Beautiful More beautiful Most beautiful
Difficult More Difficult Most Difficult
Interesting More Interesting Most Interesting
Evil More Evil Most Evil
Famous More Famous Most Famous
Notorious More Notorious Most Notorious
Easily More Easily Most Easily
Nobly More Nobly Most Nobly


Less and least are the opposite for more and most respectively. So, the opposite positive, superlative and comparative degrees are -

PositiveComparativeSuperlative
BeautifulLess beautifulLeast beautiful
DifficultLess DifficultLeast Difficult
InterestingLess InterestingLeast Interesting
EvilLess EvilLeast Evil
FamousLess FamousLeast Famous
NotoriousLess NotoriousLeast Notorious
EasilyLess EasilyLeast Easily
NoblyLess NoblyLeast Nobly



Disyllabic adjectives (adjectives with two syllables) ending in -er, -ly, -ow, -some are considered as monosyllabic adjectives. Hence, -er is added for comparative degree and -est for superlative degree. As—

Positive Comparative Superlative
Tender Tenderer Tenderest
Clever Cleverer Cleverest
Narrow Narrower Narrowest
Holy Holier Holiest
Happy Happier Happiest
Heavy Heavier Heaviest
Pretty Prettier Prettiest
Ugly Uglier Ugliest
Lovely Lovelier Loveliest
Easy Easier Easiest
Noble Nobler Noblest
Handsome Handsomer Handsomest



Rule 3:
Irregular Comparison:
There are some adjectives which have fixed comparative and superlative forms. As—

Positive Comparative Superlative
Good, well Better Best
Bad, evil, ill Worse Worst
Old Older, elder Oldest, eldest
Fore Former Foremost, first
Late Later, latter Latest, last
Many, much More Most
Near Nearer Nearest
Forth Further Furthest
Little Less, lesser Least




Thank you...








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