Degrees of comparison C 1

Degrees of comparison
One-syllable adjectives add –er and –est:
tall – taller – the tallest
If the adjective ends in –y, this changes to –ier
and –iest:
dry – drier – the driest
If the adjective ends ina single consonant after a
single vowel, the consonant is doubled:
Hott – hotter – the hottest
Irregular adjectives
good – better – the best
bad – worse – the worst
far – farther/further – the farthest/furthest
Two-syllable adjectives which end in –y add –er
and –est
happy – happier – the happiest
• Most other two-syllable adjectives take more
and most
ancient – more ancient – the most ancient
• Some syllables can take either the endings
er/est or more/the most
common, cruel, gentle, handsome, likely,
mature, pleasant, polite, simple, stupid
more is used with comparative degree
• With one-syllable past participle adjectives
bored, pleased, worn, creased
used with more/less
These trousers look more worn than the
• With fun, real, right and wrong
She couldn’t have been more wrong.
• When comparing two qualities
I think he was more mad than brave.
• Most adverbs form comparative and superlative
with more and most
easily – more easily – the most easily
• Adverbs with the same form as adjectives form
comparatives and superlatives the same way as
fast – faster – the fastest
hard – harder – the hardest
early – earlier – the earliest
straight – straighter – the straightest
• Irregular forms:
well – better – the best
badly – worse – the worst
Qualifiers with adjectives
to be + (qualifier) comparative + than
His new film was better than his previous one.
• No, hardly any
• A little, slightly, (quite) a bit
• A lot, considerably, a great deal, far,
as +adjective/adverb + as
• Can be followed by:
• Noun or a noun phrase
He’s as tall as his father.
• Object pronoun
He thinks nobody knows as much as him.
• A clause
He’s as tall as his father is.
He thinks nobody knows as much as he does.
• By possible, ever, usual
I’ll stay as long as possible.
He looked as handsome as ever.
• The negative is formed with not as.../not so...
She’s not as/so careful as she should be.
Qualifying as... as structure
• Just, almost, nearly, quite, twice, 3 times etc.
Mary is just as hard-working as Jane.
She works twice as hard as Julie.
• Not nearly, not quite, not half
Tom is not nearly as well-mannered as Tim.
• With negative beginning: nearly, quite, half
She doesn’t seem half as kind as Jenny.
He doesn’t speak French quite as well as her/she
• not anything like as /nothing like as
Tom is far more sophisticated than John.
John is nothing like as sophisticated as Tom.
John is not anything like as sophisticated as
as + much/many + noun
• Half, twice, three times ...
He requires half as much energy as me/I do.
I need twice as many players as you offer.
Using a singular noun between an
adjective and the second as
The article a/an comes before the noun
It used to be a quiet place. It’s not as quiet
It’s not as quiet a place as it used to be.
We can use how, so and too followed
by an adjective in a similar way
How important an issue it was for you?
It’s not quite so straighforward a problem as it
might seem.
It’s too difficult a task to solve alone.
So + adj./adv. + that clause
He was so shocked that he couldn’t utter a
She speak so quietly that nobody can hear her.
Go so/as far as + to inf.
• To express an action which is surprising or
One furious woman went as far as to throw
tomatoes at the minister.
Gradable and ungradable adjectives
• Ungradable adjectives describe extreme
qualities which can’t be ‘more’ or ‘less’
amazing, dead, exhausted, fantastic etc.
Use with them: absolutely, completely, quite (=
absolutely, completely) , totally, utterly etc.
The performance was absolutely amazing.
• Other adjectives are gradable.
Use with them: a bit, a little, fairly, quite (=
rather, fairly), really, too, very
She looks very beautiful today.
Order of adjectives
1 judgement
2 size
3 shape
4 colour
5 origin
6 material
7 purpose
Put the adjectives into the right order
before the noun
• dining
• lovely
• round
• silk
• little
• Chinese
• brown
• table
A lovely, little, round, brown, Cinese, wooden,
dining table

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