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Comparative Adjectives and Adverbs.

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Adjectives are used to make comparisons between two things

Sentences using comparatives - for two or more things.

  1. I am taller than my brother.
  2. I am taller than my brother and my sister.
  3. I feel better (than I did before).

    We can also use the comparative without stating the other thing if it's understood.

The people in the room

1 Make as many true sentences as you can comparing yourself to other students in the room. You can use these phrases.
  1. lives close to school
  2. has big family
  3. young
  4. has been learning English long
  5. gets up early
  6. goes to bed late

Emotional experiences:

  1. The most nervous I've been
  2. The happiest moment I've ever had
  3. The most frightened I've ever been

Musical experiences (better with teens):

  1. The best concert I've been to
  2. The worst song I've ever heard
  3. The longest time I've ever danced
  4. The best CD I've ever bought

Places in your life

  1. The most dangerous place I've been in
  2. The cheapest restaurant I've eaten in
  3. The most boring town I've ever visited

Superlative Award ceremony

2
Vote in class for each of these categories. Class awards ceremony. Vote secretly to see who is voted for each category. Categories:
  1. the student with the nicest smile
  2. the friendliest student
  3. the hardest working student
  4. the earliest student
  5. the best-dressed student
  6. the most talkative student
  7. the quietest student
  8. etc. (try to have only nice categories!)
3 Make ten correct sentences from the three animal pictures. At least two describing with adjectives, four making comparative statements and four making superlative statements. Include at two negative forms and two question forms.
The horse is more dangerous than the lamb. The Tiger is the most dangerous.

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Adjective
Adjective Comparative Superlative

good

better

best

bad

worse

worst

little

less

least

much

more

most

far

further / farther

furthest / farthest

Farther / further

Some make a distinction between farther and futher but others use only further, for both time and distance.

Comparative Forms more or -er

Three-syllable adjectives form the comparative with more (more sensible). Most one-syllable adjectives have -er (older). Some two-syllable adjectives have more (more modern), some have -er (heavier), and some can have either form (more pleasant/pleasanter). If the adjective ends in -y use -er:
Shy, shier. Heavy heavier otherwise if you are unsure, use more. More works well with almost all two-syllable adjectives.

Adjectives ending in -ly take more

Never drop the -ly from an adverb with -ly when using the comparison form.
Correct She spoke quickly. She spoke more quickly than he did.
Incorrect She spoke quicker than he did.
Correct Talk quietly. Talk more quietly.
Incorrect Talk quieter. CorrectJim works harder than his brother.

Comparatives

Giraffe Family. Image

Note the double 'g' in bigger. Biger is not a word, but would be pronounced like tiger. (See pronunciation rules

4
Now read out some of your sentences. E.g. Thomas lives closer to school than Joe and Attila.

My family
Secretly choose five of the following categories and write a name for each one on a piece of paper.
  1. The oldest person in my family
  2. The youngest person in my family
  3. The friendliest person in my family
  4. The funniest person in my family
  5. The nicest person in my family
  6. The meanest person in my family

Can you think of another?

5
In pairs ask questions about the other's list of names and ask follow up questions to find out more information.

Is John the oldest person in your family?
No, he isn't. He's the youngest!
How old is he?
He's my nephew. He's only two years old.

Look at these animals

Animals Animals Animals

Practice - Life in the capital

6 Work in pairs, A and B. The A's live in the capital of their country and think it's far superior to life outside the capital. The B's think the opposite. Give them time to prepare several reasons and then tell them to compare. Who has the most convincing arguments? You can then develop this into a whole class discussion.

Mobile phones

Work in small groups. Take out your mobile phones to present your mobile phones to each other.
  1. When did you buy it?
  2. How much did it cost?
  3. Is it your first phone?
  4. What do you like about it?
  5. What don't you like about it?
7 Make comparisons of the mobile phones. Write 5 sentences comparing the different phones. For example:
  1. Suzy's phone is bigger than mine.
  2. Tanya's phone was cheaper than Suzy's.
  3. Enzo's phone is more interesting than Giovanni's.

The coldest place I've been to

The superlative goes well with the present perfect (as in The best film I've ever seen was). use this sentence stem to make a questionnaire. Here are some examples based on the weather.

  1. The coldest place I've been to was
  2. The hottest place I've ever visited was
  3. The worst storm I've ever seen was in
  4. The strangest weather I've ever experienced was
8
In pairs prepare questions and then interview your partner. Eg. What's the worst storm you've ever seen? Ask follow-up questions to find out more information. Remember the best answers and tell the whole class afterwards.

Forming Comparative and Superlative Adverbs -LY Adverbs.

With -LY adverbs (adverbs formed from adjectives by adding -ly to the end) we form the comparative and superlative forms with more and most.

Adjective Adverb Comparative Adverb Superlative Adverb
quiet quietly more quietly most quietly
careful carefully more carefully most carefully
happy happily more happily most happily
  1. Jeff works more quietly than Steve does.
  2. Jeff works the most quietly of all the students.
  3. Of the three drivers, Mary drives the most carefully.
  4. Steve works more happily than he used to.
  5. Mary sings the most happily of all the girls in the group.

Other Adverbs.

For adverbs which retain the same form as the adjective form, we add -er to form the comparative and -est to form the superlative.

AdjectiveAdverbComparative AdverbSuperlative Adverb
hard hard harderhardest
fast fast fasterfastest
early early earlierearliest
  1. please work harder.
  2. Mary runs faster than John does.
  3. Mary runs the fastest of all the runners on the team.
  4. Steve gets to work earlier than I do.
  5. Steve gets to work the earliest of all.

Irregular Adverbs.

Adjective Adverb Comparative Adverb Superlative Adverb
good well better best
bad badly worse worst
far far farther/further farthest/furthest
  1. John plays tennis better than Jack does.
  2. On our tennis team, John plays tennis the best.
  3. I did worse on the test than Bart did.
  4. On that test, I did the worst in the class.
  5. My paper airplane flew farther than yours did.
  6. My paper airplane flew the farthest of all.

Some common mistakes

A common mistake is to confuse adjectives and adverb forms. For example:

  1. Fast runners finish quicker. (more quickly)
  2. I did good. (well)

Both of these sentences are incorrect.

Some adverbs of distance use further in the comparative form.

  1. Go awayer (Go further away)
  2. Move downer (Move further down)
9

Practice

  1. The blue car is than the red car
  2. This is ','posttext' => 'than that one.
  3. Mount Everest is than Mt Fuji.
  4. This is the shirt in the store.
  5. The Mona Lisa is one of the paintings in this museum.
  6. The Lut Desert in Iran is the ','posttext' => ' place in the world as of 2005.
  7. Antarctica is the ','posttext' => '_ place on earth.
  8. Bob is ','posttext' => ' than Mike.
  9. Michael Jordan is the _ basketball player.
  10. This soup is _ than that soup.
  11. A tiger is ___ than a cat.
  12. A cow is than a puppy.
  13. Albert Einstein was _ than me.
  14. This is the movie I've ever seen.
  15. A kitten is _ than a puppy.
  16. This is the book in the store.
  17. A mouse is ___ than a lion.
  18. Some governments are __ than others.
  19. Sugar is __ than salt.
  20. That was the exam I had all semester.
  21. Some sports are than others.
  22. Water is than tequila.
  23. Oxygen is the natural resource.
  24. Elvis Presley is than me.
  25. This is the meal on the menu.
  26. Some children are than others.
  27. I live in the city in the world.
  28. A desert is than a jungle.
  29. A blue whale is the animal in the world.
  30. Sometimes email is than a telephone.

Problems

The word most is used in superlatives. Notice that it is the most. Be careful with other uses of 'most'.
Eg: The most unusual items have been used as money.
or 'most' meaning very. Eg: It was a most wonderful morning. (Although in this sentence. 'very' would be incorrect.

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