Adjectives and Adverbs: Forms for Comparison
A common error in using adjectives and adverbs arises from using the wrong form for comparison.
Incorrect Example: She is the poorest of the two women.
She is poor. (positive form)
She is the poorer of the two women. (comparative form)
She is the poorest of them all. (superlative form)
Some words have irregular comparative and superlative forms.
Incorrect Example: She is the best candidate of the two for the job.
Correct Example: She is the better candidate of the two for the job.
Many one-syllable adjectives and adverbs may be compared by adding —er or —est.
Usually, with words of three or more syllables, don’t add —er or —est. Use more or most in front of the words. Never use both the —er or —est suffix and more or most.
Example: efficient/more efficient/most efficient
Incorrect Example: He is more efficienter at using the PowerPoint program than his boss is.
Correct Example: He is more efficient at using the PowerPoint program than his boss is.
When comparing with an —ly adverb, keep the —ly and add more or most.
Incorrect Example: She spoke quicker than he did.
Correct Examples: She spoke quickly.
She spoke more quickly than he did.
Incorrect Example: Talk quieter.
Correct Examples: Talk quietly.
Talk more quietly.
Quiz: Are these sentences correct or incorrect?
1. You are the funnest person I know.
2. I can run more faster than you can.
3. I can run more quickly than you can.
4. My brother is the youngest of the two of us.
5. She is the best of the two sisters at braiding hair.
1. Incorrect (most fun)
2. Incorrect (faster)
4. Incorrect (younger)
5. Incorrect (better)
Posted on Sunday, April 1st, 2007, at 3:45 am