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Comparative Adjectives

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Comparative Adjectives
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.1G

Basics on the topic Comparative Adjectives

Comparative Adjectives – Definition

When describing objects or giving an opinion about something, we use adjectives to communicate more clearly. We use comparative adjectives to compare things and their characteristics. Before learning about comparative adjectives, let’s look at the definition for adjectives first:

Adjectives are words that we use to describe or modify nouns in order to communicate a clearer picture. Some examples of adjectives are: warm, happy, mysterious, surprising.

There are different types of adjectives for different purposes. Comparative adjectives are a special kind of adjectives:

Comparative adjectives are used to compare characteristics of two nouns by highlighting their differences based on a shared characteristic.

25736_Comparative_Adjectives-02.svg

For example, if we want to compare two books on how thick they are, we might say: This book is thicker than the other.

Comparative Adjectives – Grammar Rules

There are certain rules that we need to follow when forming comparative adjectives.

If an adjective has one syllable, we need to add suffix -er to the end of the word. For example:

Adjective Superlative
cold colder
tall taller
high higher
quick quicker

If we want to compare two months using the adjective cold, we can say: March is colder than July.

If an adjective with one syllable ends with a single consonant and a vowel before it, we need to double the consonant before adding the suffix -er:

Adjective Superlative
big bigger
thin thinner
hot hotter
sad sadder

For example, let’s compare two notebooks using the adjective thin: The yellow notebook is thinner than the green one.

If an adjective has two or more syllables, we have to add the word more before the adjective.

Adjective Comparative
interesting more interesting
surprising more surprising
loyal more loyal
expensive more expensive

For example, we can compare two movies using the adjective interesting: The original movie is more interesting than the remake.*

If an adjective has two syllables and ends with -y, we drop the -y and add the suffix -ier at the end. For example:

Adjective Comparative
happy happier
hungry hungrier
busy busier
healthy healthier

If we want to compare two people using the adjective busy, we can say: My sister is busier than my brother.

Irregular Comparative Adjectives – List

Even though most comparative adjectives follow standard rules, there are some that do not. They are called irregular comparative adjectives. They do not follow any of the rules, and we need to memorize each of them to use them correctly. Here is the list of irregular comparative adjectives:

Adjective Comparative
good better
bad worse
old older or elder
far farther or further
little less
many or much more

For example, we can compare two dishes using the adjective good: I think apple pie is better than blueberry pie.*

Comparative Adjectives vs. Superlative Adjectives

Apart from comparative adjectives that compare two nouns, there are superlative adjectives that are used to compare characteristics between more than two nouns, highlighting their differences based on a shared characteristic. For example, we can compare several dresses using the superlative adjective long: The red dress is the longest dress in my closet.

To find out more, watch this video about superlative adjectives.

Comparative Adjectives – Summary

Now let’s review what we have learned about comparative adjectives.

Comparative adjectives are used to compare characteristics between two nouns, highlighting their differences based on a shared characteristic.

Most comparative adjectives follow standard rules and patterns: * If an adjective has one syllable, we add suffix -er to the end of the word. * If an adjective has one syllable, and ends in a single consonant and a vowel before it double the consonant before adding the suffix -er. * If an adjective has two or more syllables, we add the word more before the adjective. * If an adjective has two syllables and ends with -y, we drop the -y and add the suffix -ier at the end.

Irregular comparative adjectives do not follow any rules, so we need to memorize them:

25736_Comparative_Adjectives-01.svg

Now you know how to use comparative adjectives. To practice more, check out our video, activities, and regular and irregular comparative adjectives worksheet for kids!

Frequently Asked Questions about Comparative Adjectives

What are comparative adjectives?
How do you identify comparative adjectives?
What are comparative adjectives examples?
What are some examples of irregular comparative adjectives?
What are some comparative adjectives sentences?

Transcript Comparative Adjectives

"WOW I can't believe how many toys there are!" "I know! I need a skateboard, bike, spaceship, EVERY stuffy in existence, the karaoke machine, soccer ball..." "Pip! You can't possibly have every toy in the store!" "Ugh I KNOW, but how will I decide!?" Let's help Koko and Pip pick out their toys by using... Comparative Adjectives. Adjectives are used to DESCRIBE or MODIFY a noun to help communicate a clearer picture. COMPARATIVE adjectives are used to compare characteristics between TWO nouns, highlighting their differences based on a shared characteristic. When using these, we follow RULES and PATTERNS. The first rule is... if the adjective has ONE syllable, (...) or one single unbroken sound, add the suffix to the end. For example, Pip wants to compare the sizes of the play tents using the adjective 'tall'. Since 'tall' has one syllable... it changes to the comparative form by adding the suffix , making it 'taller'. This Palace tent is TALLER than the Bakery tent. The second rule is... if the adjective has TWO or more syllables, (...) add the word 'MORE' in front. For example, Koko wants to compare two stuffies using the adjective precious. What is the comparative form of 'precious'? (...) MORE precious. This elephant stuffy is MORE precious than this bear. The next rule is... if the adjective has TWO syllables (...) and ends with , we drop the and add the suffix to end. If Pip wants to compare how CREEPY the big foot costume is to the alien one, what should he do? (...) He needs to make the comparative form of creepy. What is the comparative form of the adjective creepy? (...) CREEPIER, the Big Foot costume is creepier than the alien costume. However, there are some adjectives that don't follow ANY of these rules (...) we call these IRREGULAR comparative adjectives. That means, we need to memorize how to make each of these comparative! Here are SOME examples: changing old to older or elder...(...) bad to worse...(...) far to further or farther...(...) little to less...(...) many or much to more...(...) and good to better. For example, Koko thinks the rainbow lollipop is better than the cloud lollipop. Before we see Koko and Pip's final choices, let's summarize! Remember,(...) COMPARATIVE adjectives are used to compare characteristics between TWO nouns, highlighting their differences based on a shared characteristic. Regular comparative adjectives follow rules and patterns... while irregular comparative adjectives don't follow any rules, so we need to memorize how to make each of these comparative! "Okay, PHEW I think I'm finally ready! KOKO!?" "OHHH! Phew, that was peculiar."

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  1. haha

    From Lucas Scott Kerley, 9 months ago

Comparative Adjectives exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Comparative Adjectives.
  • Find the comparative adjectives.

    Hints

    Adjectives are used to describe or modify a noun to help communicate a clearer picture.

    Comparative adjectives are used to compare characteristics between two nouns, highlighting their differences based on a shared characteristic.

    Here is an example of a comparative adjective:

    Beth is taller than Nick.

    Solution

    The first sentence uses er when an adjective has one syllable. You add the suffix er to the end.

    The next sentence uses more when an adjective has two or more syllables. You add the word more in front.

    The final sentence uses ier when an adjective has two syllables and ends with y. You drop the y and add the suffix ier to the end.

  • Rules for comparative adjectives.

    Hints

    Here is an example of rule 1: big - bigger

    Here is an example of rule 2: energetic - more energetic

    Here is an example of rule 3: happy - happier

    Solution
    • If the adjective has one syllable or one single unbroken sound, add the suffix -er to the end.
    • If the adjective has two or more syllables, add the word more in front.
    • If the adjective has two syllables and ends with y, we drop the y and add the suffix -ier to the end.
    • Irregular comparative adjectives don’t follow those rules so we memorize them.
  • Comparative Adjectives.

    Hints

    If the adjective has one syllable, add the suffix -er to the end.

    If an adjective has two or more syllables, add the word more in front.

    Solution
    • Fast has one syllable, so the comparative adjective is faster.
    • Smart has one syllable, so the comparative adjective is smarter.
    • Boring has more than one syllable, so the comparative adjective is more boring.
    • Beautiful has more than one syllable, so the comparative adjective is more beautiful.
  • Comparing bouncy balls.

    Hints

    What rule should you follow since the word ends with the letter y?

    If an adjective has two syllables and ends with y, you drop the y and add the suffix -ier to the end.

    An example of another word with two syllables that ends with a 'y' is busy. Add the suffix ier to the end. The comparative adjective is busier.

    Solution

    The comparative adjective of bouncy is bouncier. The orange ball is bouncier than the soccer ball.

    If an adjective has two syllables and ends with y, you drop the y and add the suffix -ier to the end.

  • Pip compares dinosaurs.

    Hints

    How many syllables are in the word, strong?

    If the adjective has one syllable or one single unbroken sound, add the suffix -er.

    Solution

    Pip thinks that the green dinosaur is stronger than the pink one.

    Strong is one syllable so you follow rule 1, which says that you add -er to the end of the word.

  • Can you make comparative adjectives?

    Hints

    If an adjective has one syllable, add the suffix er to the end.

    If an adjective has two or more syllables, add the word more in front.

    If an adjective has two syllables and ends with y, drop the y and add the suffix ier to the end.

    Solution

    The ladybug is bigger than the ant. If an adjective has one syllable, add the suffix er to the end.

    Jake's bedroom floor is messier than Zeke's. If an adjective has two syllables and ends with y, drop the y and add the suffix ier to the end.

    Jasmin is more tired than Nate. If an adjective has two or more syllables, add the word more in front.

    Cotton candy is sweeter than chocolate. If an adjective has one syllable, add the suffix er to the end.