Comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives and adverbs

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Comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives and adverbs
Comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives and adverbs

Each of the existing parts of speech has its own characteristics. All of them are divided into groups by value, so their features are completely different. Some parts of speech help to compare one thing or quality with another. Thanks to this, categories such as comparative and superlative degrees appeared. What they are, we will understand in more detail in our article.

Degrees of comparison

Every student knows that adjectives and adverbs differ from other groups of speech in that they can form different degrees of comparison. They call such a form of the word, which changes due to the comparison of one quality with another.


There are usually three subgroups:

  • Positive exponent. In this form, the word stands when it is not compared with any other. For example: beautiful (by itself), cold (without comparison with what was before, or will be later). It is also called the initial degree, and inlinguistics is scientifically defined as positive.
  • Comparative degree. The word in this form is used when one quality of an object or a phenomenon is correlated with another. For example: big - bigger (than the first), sad - sadder (than before).
  • Superlatives. It is used if they want to express the highest quality score among others like it. For example: light - the brightest (most), fun - the most fun.


Of all the variety of parts of speech, only adjectives and adverbs play the role of forming degrees. This is easy to explain: each of them denotes the quality of the object and its condition. And they are not difficult to compare with each other.

The comparative degree (adjective) is formed in two different ways:

  • Simple. The suffix -her or -her is added to the base of the word: white - whiter (whiter), colorful - more colorful (more colorful).
  • Complicated. We substitute the words “more” and “less” for a positive degree: warm - more (less) warm, terrible - more (less) terrible.
  • superlative form

In difficult cases, it is not possible to form a simple comparative degree. Then only the complex one is used. Such examples include the word "heavy".

The superlative has two methods of education:

  • Simple. The suffixes -eysh or -aysh are added to the base (adjective): cute - cutest.
  • Complicated. It is formed with the help of auxiliary words "the most", "all": the kindest,the kindest of all.

Sometimes the prefix –nai is added to strengthen it: the best is the best.


This special part of speech practically does not change, has no endings and declension system. But at the same time, she has a different ability. Just like an adjective, an adverb has a superlative and comparative form.

The latter is formed with:

  • adding the suffix -ee (easy way): slow - slower, clean - cleaner.
  • Words-helpers "more" and "less": bright - more (less) bright, fashionable - more (less) fashionable.
  • superlative adverb

A superlative adverb is rarely formed with the help of suffixes –ayshe, -eyshe: most humbly, strictest. We can often find such forms in the literature of past centuries.

As a rule, the most commonly used words are “total” (fastest), “maximum” (as short as possible).

To amplify, use the prefix -nai: most.


We compare one item, quality or phenomenon with another every day. In oral speech, we do not even think about the ways that help us with this. Now we know how comparative and superlative degrees are formed in writing. Do not forget that only adjectives and adverbs have this feature. Whether you do it with suffixes or special words, remember that not all forms have an existence. In this case, you should check them with a dictionary.

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