Comparative and superlative - 英语比较级和最高级语法


Comparison: adjectives (bigger, biggest, more interesting)

from English Grammar Today


Comparative adjectives

Comparative adjectives compare one person or thing with another and enable us to say whether a person or thing has more or less of a particular quality:

Josh is taller than his sister. I’m more interested in music than sport.

Big cars that use a lot of petrol are less popular now than twenty years ago.

Superlative adjectives

Superlative adjectives describe one person or thing as having more of a quality than all other people or things in a group:

The ‘Silver Arrow’ will be the fastest train in the world when it is built. The most frightening film I’ve ever seen was Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’. What is the least expensive way of travelling in Japan?

Comparative or superlative?

A comparative compares a person or thing with another person or thing. A superlative compares a person or thing with the whole group of which that person or thing is a member:

Joe’s older than Mike. (comparing one person with another) Sheila is the youngest girl in the family. (comparing one person with the

whole group she belongs to)

When there are just two members in a group, traditionally, we use the comparative. However, in informal situations people often use the superlative:

Who is younger, Rowan or Tony? (traditional usage) Jan and Barbara are both tall, but Jan’s the tallest. (more informal)

Comparative and superlative adjectives: form One-syllable adjectives (big, cold, hot, long, nice, old, tall)

To form the comparative, we use the -er suffix with adjectives of one syllable:

It’s colder today than yesterday.

It was a longer holiday than the one we had last year.

Sasha is older than Mark.

To form the superlative, we use the -est suffix with adjectives of one syllable. We normally use the before a superlative adjective:

I think that’s the biggest apple I’ve ever seen! At one time, the Empire State building in New York was the tallest building

in the world. They have three boys. Richard is the oldest and Simon is the youngest.

Spelling of comparatives and superlatives with one- syllable adjectives

Note the pronunciation of these comparatives and superlatives:

1. long /lɒŋ/ longer /lɒŋgə(r)/ longest /lɒŋgəst/ 2. strong /strɒŋ/ stronger /strɒŋgə(r)/ strongest /strɒŋgəst/ 3. young /jʌŋ/ younger /jʌŋgə(r)/ youngest /jʌŋgəst/