Degrees of comparison

Degrees of comparison are used in adjectives and adverbs to compare one thing with others. They are divided into three forms: positive, comparative, and superlative.

Positive Degree: This is the base form of the adjective or adverb, without any comparison. It describes one subject without comparing it to others. For example, in the word “fast” (as in “She runs fast”), there is no comparison being made.

Comparative Degree: This form is used to compare two things. It often ends in “-er” or is used with “more” or “less”. For instance, “faster” (as in “She runs faster than her friend”) compares the speed of two people. Not all adjectives form the comparative regularly (e.g., “good” becomes “better”).

Superlative Degree: This form compares more than two things or states the highest degree. It often ends in “-est” or is used with “most” or “least”. For example, “fastest” (as in “She is the fastest in her class”) signifies that no one else in the group is faster.

Irregular Forms: Some adjectives and adverbs change completely in their comparative and superlative forms (e.g., “good,” “better,” “best”).

Using Comparatives and Superlatives: Comparative forms often use “than” to introduce the comparison (e.g., “He is taller than his brother”). Superlative forms are frequently used with “the” (e.g., “She is the smartest in her grade”).

Contextual Use: The choice of degree depends on the context. For example, “John is tall” (positive) is a simple statement; “John is taller than Bob” (comparative) compares two people; “John is the tallest in his family” (superlative) compares him to more than two people.

Adverbs Comparison: Like adjectives, adverbs also have degrees of comparison. For example, “fast” (positive), “faster” (comparative), “fastest” (superlative).

Exceptions and Variations: Some adjectives, especially those of two or more syllables, don’t always follow the regular “-er” and “-est” pattern. Instead, they use “more” and “most” to form the comparative and superlative degrees.