Comparison of Adverbs

By | April 11, 2019

 Comparison of Adverbs

Comparison of Adverbs

 Comparison of Adverbs

There are three degrees of comparison in adverbs – the Positive, the Comparative, and the Superlative. The adverbs form their comparatives and superlatives using –er and –est , and more and most. Adverbs that end in –lyuse the words more and most to form their comparatives and superlatives.

The one-syllable adverbs use –er in the comparative form, and –est in the superlative form.

AbsoluteComparativeSuperlative
earlyearlierearliest
fastfasterfastest
hardharderhardest
highhigherhighest
latelaterlatest
loudlouderloudest
nearnearernearest
soonsoonersoonest

Adverbs which end in –ly or have three or more syllables each form the comparative with more and the superlative with most.

AbsoluteComparativeSuperlative
angrilymore angrilymost angrily
brightlymore brightlymost brightly
dimlymore dimlymost dimly
freelymore freelymost freely
gladlymore gladlymost gladly
heavilymore heavilymost heavily
loudlymore loudlymost loudly
quietlymore quietlymost quietly
sweetlymore sweetlymost sweetly
terriblymore terriblymost terribly

The comparative form is used to compare two things.

Examples:

We must not reach there later than 7 o’clock.

You speak more loudly than a loudspeaker.

Sirius shines more brightly than all the other stars.

The superlative form is used to compare three or more things.

Examples:

He arrived the earliest, so he had to wait for the others.

Why do you have to speak the most loudly of all at the meeting?

Of all the girls, your sister sang the most sweetly.

It is not correct to use –er and more together, or –est and most together.

Examples:

Incorrect: The tree is more taller than the giraffe.

Correct:The tree is taller than the giraffe.

Incorrect: This turkey is the most oldest in the farm.

Correct: This turkey is the oldest in the farm.

Some adverbs form the comparative and the superlative irregularly.

AbsoluteComparativeSuperlative
badlyworse (than)worst (the)
farfartherfarthest
farfurtherfurthest
littlelessleast
much/manymoremost
wellbetterbest

Examples:

Of the two teddy bears, which do you like better?

This has to be the farthest I have ever walked in my life.a

(For more on comparison of adverbs using more and most, see List 8 – Adverbs)