INTRODUCTION TO

COMPARATIVE & SUPERLATIVES

Which one is bigger? The strawberry or the apple?

Which one is the biggest? The strawberry, apple or watermelon?

The words 'bigger' and 'biggest' is what comparative and superlative is!

These are special adjectives to compare two or more things.

First, what is an adjective?

An adjective is a describing word. It is used to describe a person, place or thing. For example, My mother is beautiful, smart, tall and friendly.

We can use an adjective to compare to another thing or use it to show something is "super" out of everything.

Comparison: My car is bigger and cleaner than your car.

Think of PAIR, always two things (my house/your house, my car/his car)

Superlative: My mother is the tallest, smartest and most beautiful woman in the world. (superlatives always go before a noun)

Think of something that is "SUPER" when you compare three or more things. For example, nobody else is more beautiful than my mother.

 

Just like Superman Superlative! No one else can be better than him!

But how do we use these adjective?

There are special rules for 1-syllable, 2-syllable and more than 2-syllable words. Let's look at 1-syllable first.

Superlative

superlative, comparative and superlative, ESL superlative, adjective,
superlative, comparative and superlative, ESL superlative, adjective,

1-SYLLABLE ADJECTIVES (rich, tall, wise, smart, long, hot)

Syllable means the number of speech sounds/stress of a word.

Think of how many times you need to change your mouth shape when saying these names:

Anne (1-syllable: Anne),   Thomas (2-syllables: Tho-mas),   Kathleen (2 syllables: Kath-leen),   Donatella (4 syllables: Do-na-te-lla)

(If you need more help to understand syllables, check out this fun video from Learning Games for Kids. ​)

To compare 1-syllable adjectives, we always add an 'er' to the end (richer, wiser, longer, cooler, hotter)

For superlative (something "super," remember?) we always add 'est' to the end (richest, wisest, longest, coolest, hottest)

The differences is how we spell it. This depends on the spelling of the adjective. Take a look at the charts below:

Superlative

superlative, comparative and superlative, ESL superlative, adjective,
superlative, comparative and superlative, ESL superlative, adjective,
adjective, superlative, what is superlative, comparative, superlative and comparative adjective, superlative, what is superlative, comparative, superlative and comparative
superlative, comparative, 1-syllable adjective superlative, comparative, 1-syllable adjective

Superlative

superlative, comparative and superlative, ESL superlative, adjective,
superlative, comparative and superlative, ESL superlative, adjective,

Superlative

superlative, comparative and superlative, ESL superlative, adjective,
superlative, comparative and superlative, ESL superlative, adjective,
superlative, comparative, 1-syllable adjective, adjective, what is superlative superlative, comparative, 1-syllable adjective, adjective, what is superlative

Once you're ready, you can move onto to the rules for 2-syllable adjectives and test yourself HERE!