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Irregular Adjectives Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Joined: 3/7/2009
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Irregular Adjectives

Adjectives describe a quality or characteristic of a noun or pronoun. The basic form of an adjective is sometimes known as the "positive degree." But we can also inflect an adjective to the "comparative degree" and the "superlative degree." What are irregular adjectives? More...
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2017 9:40:45 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 4/19/2017
Posts: 282
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Location: Baghdad, Mayorality of Baghdad, Iraq
Degrees of Comparison
Definition
Adjectives describe a quality or characteristic of a noun or pronoun. The basic form of an adjective is sometimes known as the positive degree.
But adjectives can also be inflected (changed in form) to compare a quality between two nouns—this form is known as the comparative degree.
Similarly, we can also inflect an adjective to identify a noun with the highest (or lowest) degree of an attribute among a group—this is known as the superlative degree.
Forming the Comparative and Superlative Degrees
We generally form the comparative degree by adding the suffix “-er” to the end of the adjective, or by using the words more or less before it.
To form the superlative degree, we either add “-est” to the end of the adjective or use the words most or least before it.
In some cases, depending on how the adjective is spelled, we have to change the spelling slightly to accommodate the addition of the suffix; there are some simple rules we can follow to know when such a change is necessary.
(To learn when and how to use these inflected degrees of comparison, go to the sections on Comparative Adjectives and Superlative Adjectives.)
“Short” Adjectives
With one-syllable adjectives, we add “-er” or “-est” and double the final consonant if preceded by one vowel. For example:
Adjective (positive degree)

Comparative degree

Superlative degree
big

bigger

biggest
thin

thinner

thinnest
sad

sadder

saddest
slim

slimmer

slimmest
The final consonant is not doubled if it is preceded by two vowels or another consonant, as in:
Adjective (positive degree)

Comparative degree

Superlative degree
weak

weaker

weakest
strong

stronger

strongest
large*

larger*

largest*
small

smaller

smallest
(*If the adjective ends in an “e,” then you only need to add “-r” or “-st.”)
If an adjective has two syllables and ends in “-y,” we replace “y” with “i” and add “-er” or “-est,” as in:
Adjective (positive degree)

Comparative degree

Superlative degree
happy

happier

happiest
chewy

chewier

chewiest
“Long” Adjectives
“Long” adjectives are adjectives that have three or more syllables, or adjectives that have two syllables and do not end in “-y.” Rather than changing the ending of long adjectives, we use the words more or less before the adjective to make them comparative, or most/least to make them superlative. For example:
Adjective (positive degree)

Comparative degree

Superlative degree
careful

more/less careful

most/least careful
caring

more/less caring

most/least caring
gifted

more/less gifted

most/least gifted
intelligent

more/less intelligent

most/least intelligent
beautiful

more/less beautiful

most/least beautiful
amazing

more/less amazing

most/least amazing
Irregular adjectives
As with most grammatical rules in English, there are some exceptions to the patterns above. Adjectives that do not inflect according to the normal patterns are known as irregular adjectives. For example:
Irregular adjective (positive degree)

Comparative degree

Superlative degree
fun

more/less fun

most/least fun
bad

worse

worst
well (healthy)

better

best
good

better

best
far*

farther/further*

farthest/furthest*
(*Although farther/further and farthest/furthest are often used interchangeably, there are differences between these two forms. In American English, farther/farthest is preferred when comparing physical distances, and further/furthest is preferred when comparing figurative distances; in British English, further/furthest is preferred for both uses.)
Adjectives with multiple forms of inflection
There are also some adjectives that can be inflected using either form we looked at above. The following are some of the most common:
Adjective (positive degree)

Comparative degree

Superlative degree
clever

cleverer or more/less clever

cleverest or most/least clever
likely

likelier or more/less likely

likeliest or most/least likely
narrow

narrower or more/less narrow

narrowest or most/least narrow
quiet

quieter or more/less quiet

quietest or most/least quiet
simple

simpler or more/less simple

simplest or most/least simple
Quiz

1. Which of the following suffixes is used to shift a one-syllable adjective to the superlative degree?
a) -ed
b) -er
c) -est
d) -en

2. Which of the following pairs of words is used to shift a two-syllable “-ly” adjective to the comparative degree?
a) more/less
b) most/least
c) much/many
d) most/less

3. What is the comparative form of the irregular adjective well?
a) good
b) better
c) worse

with my pleasure
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