Comparison

An Adjective is a word naming an attribute of a noun. In English language, some adjectives are comparable. For example, a young man may be “handsome", but another young man may be "more handsome ", and a third young man may be the "most handsome” of the three. The word "more" here modifies the adjective "handsome" to indicate a comparison is being made, and "most" modifies the adjective to indicate an absolute comparison. However, some adjectives cannot be compared because the positive (simplest) form expresses the only degree possible. Such adjectives are called non-comparable. Comparable adjectives are also known as gradable adjectives, because they tend to allow grading adverbs such as "very", "rather", and so on. In English, there are three different means to indicate comparison. English has three degrees of comparison - Positive, Comparative and Superlative degrees. COMPARISON WITH -ER/-EST We use -er/-est with the following adjectives: Adjectives with one syllable - Eg. Cheap – cheaper - cheapest Adjectives with two syllables with the following endings: • Adjectives with two syllables, ending in –y - Example: happy – happier - happiest • Adjectives with two syllables, ending in –er - Eg. Cleaver – cleverer – cleverest • Adjectives with two syllables, ending in –le - Eg. Simple – simpler - simplest • Adjectives with two syllables, ending in –ow - Eg. Narrow – narrower – narrowest COMPARISON WITH MORE – MOST Comparison of adjectives can be done by adding ‘more’ and ‘most’ with the positive degree to form comparative and superlative degrees respectively. E.g. Beautiful – more beautiful – most beautiful This Italian garden is beautiful. The Exbury garden is more beautiful than the Italian garden. The Butchart garden is the most beautiful among the three. C - IRREGULAR ADJECTIVES The forms of positive, comparative and superlative degrees are completely different in these adjectives. Eg. Good – better – best Sam is a good officer. Mili is better than Sam. Jack is the best among the three. SPECIAL ADJECTIVES Some adjectives have two possible forms of comparison. Eg. Common - commoner / more common - commonest / most common Likely - likelier / more likely - likeliest / most likely

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